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United States v. Fernando L. Sumaza & Co., Inc. (D. P.R.)


On March 30, 2020, the court entered an amended consent order resolving United States v. Fernando L. Sumaza & Co., Inc. (D. P.R.).  The complaint, filed on February 28, 2020, alleged that Fernando L. Sumaza & Co., Inc. and its affiliated entities were involved in the design and construction of five multifamily housing developments with approximately 276 FHA-covered units located in Puerto Rico.  All of the properties were built using Low-Income Housing Tax Credits ("LIHTC") and/or funds from the HOME Partnership Investment Program ("HOME funds") or USDA. The complaint alleged that the defendants engaged in a pattern or practice of designing and constructing multifamily housing developments or denying rights to a group of persons in violation of the Fair Housing Act (FHA), 42 U.S.C. § 3604(f)(3)(C), and the Americans with Disabilities Act, 42 U.S.C. § 12183(a)(1). The principal violations at the properties include, among other things, a lack of accessible routes to many covered units and public and common use areas due to steps, the absence of curb cuts, vertical level changes, and steep running and cross slopes; a lack of accessible routes into and through the dwelling units due to high thresholds, narrow passage ways, and narrow doors; and adaptive design violations in the bathrooms and kitchens. The consent order requires an injunction, fair housing training, record keeping obligations, reporting to the United States for a period of three years, a settlement fund of $150,000 to compensate victims, a civil penalty of $10,000, and retrofits to alleged non-compliant barriers on the accessible routes, in the public and common use areas, and in the covered dwelling units at the five properties.

Press Release (3/28/20)

Case Open Date
Case Name
United States v. Fernando L. Sumaza & Co., Inc. (D. P.R.)
Civil Rights
  • District of Puerto Rico
  • Fair Housing Act
  • FHA
  • disability
  • design
  • construction
  • accessible
  • accessibility
  • 3:20-cv-01114-GAG
  • Multi-family housing
  • americans with disabilities act
  • ada
Industry Code(s)
  • None
Updated August 30, 2022