Ability Center, et al. v. Moline Builders, et al. (N.D. Ohio)

Overview: 

On August 10, 2020, the court issued an order granting partial summary judgment in favor of the plaintiffs and against the defendants in Ability Center, et al. v. Moline Builders, et al. (N.D. Ohio).  At issue was whether, under the Fair Housing Act’s accessibility requirements for newly-constructed multifamily dwellings, the front door and walkway leading to a covered unit are required to be accessible to persons with disabilities.  Defendants argued that their only obligation was to provide an accessible route into the unit, which, they alleged, they had done by providing an accessible route through the garage.  The United States filed a Statement of Interest arguing that, under the Act, the front doors and walkways are “public use and common use portions” of covered dwellings and therefore required to be accessible, regardless whether there is another accessible route into the unit.  The court agreed, finding that the failure to provide “unimpeded access” to the front door to persons who use wheelchairs, including not just those who live in the unit but also a “neighbor, friend, or family member, a political candidate, or a repairman,” is “in effect, to send them away as if unwelcome,” and “precisely the discrimination the FHAA forbids.”

 

Case Open Date: 
Monday, August 10, 2020
Case Name: 
Ability Center, et al. v. Moline Builders, et al. (N.D. Ohio)
Tags: 
Fair Housing Act; fha; multifamily dwellings; disabilities; accessible route
Industry Code: 
None
Component: 
Civil Rights Division
Civil Rights - Housing and Civil Enforcement Section
Updated December 2, 2021