Housing And Civil Enforcement Cases Documents

IN THE UNITED STATES DISTRICT COURT
FOR THE CENTRAL DISTRICT OF ILLINOIS


UNITED STATES OF AMERICA,
     Plaintiff,

v.

FIRST SITE COMMERCIAL PROPERTIES,
INC.; THE WOODS, LLC;
JEFFREY TINERVAN; BLDD ARCHITECTS,
INC.; MILLIKIN UNIVERSITY,
     Defendants.

___________________________________

CONSENT DECREE
  1. INTRODUCTION

The United States has filed a complaint in this action against defendants First Site Commercial Properties, Inc., The Woods, LLC, Jeffrey Tinervin, BLDD Architects, Inc., and Millikin University alleging that the defendants violated the Fair Housing Act, 42 U.S.C. § 3601 et seq.. The defendants participated in the design, construction, and development of The Woods Apartments in Decatur, Illinois.

Defendant First Site Commercial Properties, Inc., ("First Site") is a for-profit corporation, chartered in Illinois, engaged in commercial property management and development. The sole principal of First Site is defendant Jeffrey Tinervin.

Defendant The Woods, LLC, is a limited liability company, chartered in Illinois, and was engaged in the development and construction of residential housing units at The Woods Apartments in Decatur, Illinois. Defendant Jeffrey Tinervin is a principal.

Defendant BLDD Architects, Inc., ("BLDD") is a corporation chartered in Illinois, and provides architectural and building design services. BLDD produced the architectural designs for all the buildings located at The Woods Apartments.

Defendant Millikin University is a non-profit corporation chartered in Illinois, engaged in educational services.

The parties stipulate that, at all times relevant to the allegations of the United States, defendants are residents of Bloomington or Decatur, Illinois, all within the Central District of Illinois, and The Woods Apartments is located within Decatur, Illinois, located within the Central District of Illinois.

The Fair Housing Act ("Act"), 42 U.S.C. § 3601, et seq., provides that, for non-elevator residential buildings with four or more dwelling units, all ground floor units that are designed and constructed for first occupancy after March 13, 1991, are "covered" dwelling units and must include certain basic features of accessible design to make such units usable by a person who is or who becomes disabled. 42 U.S.C. §§ 3604(f)(3)(C) and (f)(7)(B). The parties stipulate that The Woods Apartments was designed and constructed for first occupancy after March 31, 1991, and consists of, in relevant part, eleven three-story residential buildings with four units per story and one common use building containing retail tenants. The parties further stipulate that all ground floor units in the residential buildings at The Woods Apartments are covered dwelling units within the meaning of the Fair Housing Act.

The features of accessible design required by the Fair Housing Act include: (a) public use and common areas that are readily accessible to and usable by persons with disabilities; (b) doors designed to allow passage into and within all premises that are sufficiently wide to allow passage by persons in wheelchairs; (c) an accessible route into and through the dwelling; (d) lights switches, electrical outlets, thermostats, and environmental controls in accessible locations; (e) reinforcements in bathroom walls to allow later installation of grab bars; and (f) usable kitchens and bathrooms such that an individual using a wheelchair can maneuver about the space. 42 U.S.C. § 3604(f)(3)(C). The United States alleges and the defendants admit that, as originally designed and constructed, the interior of the covered dwelling units as well as the public and common use areas at The Woods Apartments do not include the features of accessible design required by the Fair Housing Act, 42 U.S.C. § 3601 et seq., and the Americans With Disabilities Act, 42 U.S.C. §§ 12181-12189.

The United States and defendants agree that this Court has jurisdiction over the subject matter of this case. The parties further agree that, in order to avoid protracted and costly litigation of this disputed claim, their controversy should be resolved through the terms of this Consent Decree. Therefore, without a trial or adjudication on the merits, the United States and the defendants have consented to the entry of this Decree. Unless otherwise specified, the terms of this Consent Decree shall apply to defendants, their employees, successor entities, agents, and representatives in their ownership, design, construction, or operation of residential rental properties. Accordingly, it is hereby ORDERED:

  1. GENERAL INJUNCTION

Defendants, their agents, officers, employees acting within the scope of their employment, successors and assigns, and all other persons in active concert or participation with them in the ownership, design, construction, or operation of residential rental properties of 4 or more dwelling units are permanently enjoined from:

  1. discriminating on the basis of disability as prohibited by the Fair Housing Act, 42 U.S.C. § 3604(f)(1) - (f)(3);
  2. failing to comply with the requirements and specifications for accessible design in all new construction as set forth in the Fair Housing Act Accessibility Guidelines, 56 Fed. Reg. 9472 (1991) ("Fair Housing Act Accessibility Guidelines" or "Guidelines"), and the Americans With Disabilities Act Standards for Accessible Design, 28 C.F.R. Part 36, Appendix A; and
  3. taking any other actions that violate the Federal Fair Housing Act.
  1. CORRECTIVE ACTIONS

The United States alleges in its Complaint that the ground floor units at The Woods Apartments are covered dwellings within the meaning of the Fair Housing Act, and that these ground floor units were not designed and constructed in accordance with the standards of the Fair Housing Act and the Fair Housing Act Accessibility Guidelines. To address these alleged violations, defendants have agreed to take the actions set forth below. These actions are reasonable, practicable and will increase the number of dwelling units on the market available to persons with disabilities or persons who become disabled.

  1. Joint Remedial Actions
    1. Introduction

      The Woods Apartments, located in Decatur, Illinois consists of eleven residential buildings as of the date of entry of this Consent Decree. Each residential building contains three stories with four units on each story. None of the eleven residential buildings have elevators. Therefore, the ground floor units of each of the eleven buildings are "covered" dwellings within the meaning of the Fair Housing Act, 42 U.S.C. § 3604(f)(7).

      To remedy the Fair Housing Act violations at The Woods, defendants First Site Commercial Properties, Inc., Jeffrey Tinervin, The Woods, LLC, and BLDD Architects, Inc. (hereinafter "joint defendants"), shall establish a fund in the amount of $110,000. For purposes of this Section A, Millikin University is not a "joint defendant" as described above. The primary purpose of the fund includes compensating persons with disabilities who were denied housing opportunities at The Woods because of the lack of accessibility at the covered dwelling units; the remainder, if any, would be directed to an organization approved by the United States whose mission includes assisting persons with disabilities with accessible housing. See Paragraph III.A.2 & 3, below. Defendants First Site Commercial Properties, Inc., Jeffrey Tinervin, The Woods, LLC, and BLDD Architects, Inc., shall also build two new elevator-equipped buildings. One shall be on Millikin University property at the current location of The Woods Apartments, and the second building shall either be (1) at the current location of The Woods Apartment or (2) at 1028-1034 West Woods in Decatur, Illinois. Both buildings shall comply with the technical specifications for the "Type A" accessible unit under the American National Standards Institute ("ANSI") A117.1 (1998). See Paragraph III.A.4, below. Each building shall contain at least twelve units, each of which shall contain four bedrooms and two fully accessible bathrooms. Defendants First Site Commercial Properties, Inc., Jeffrey Tinervin, The Woods, LLC, and BLDD Architects, Inc., shall also retrofit the common and public use area so that it complies with ANSI A117.1 (1986) Section 4.10.9. Specifically, joint defendants shall retrofit the elevator in the common building to provide sufficient clear floor space as required by ANSI A117.1 Section 4.10. The joint remedy shall also include a civil penalty totaling $10,000.

    2. Damages for Unidentified Aggrieved Persons
      1. Within five days of the entry of this Decree, Defendants First Site Commercial Properties, Inc., The Woods, LLC, Jeffrey Tinervin, and BLDD Architects, Inc., shall deposit in an interest-bearing escrow account (the "Fund") the total sum of one hundred and ten thousand dollars ($110,000). (1) Defendants First Site Commercial Properties, Inc., The Woods, LLC, Jeffrey Tinervin, and BLDD Architects, Inc. are jointly and severally liable for payment of this sum.

        The Fund's primary purposes are to compensate any aggrieved persons who may have suffered as a result of joint defendants' failure to design and construct apartments in compliance with the Act, to provide necessary retrofit during the period in which the new construction units are being built, and, as set forth in Paragraph III.A.2, below, to assist organizations whose missions include meeting the housing needs of persons with disabilities. Joint defendants shall be responsible for paying any fees, taxes, or administrative expenses associated with the fund, and shall provide the United States with all pertinent information concerning the institution where the fund is maintained and the terms and conditions of the account.

      2. Within 30 days of the entry of this Decree, defendants shall publish a Notice to Potential Victims of Housing Discrimination ("Notice") (Appendix A) informing readers of the possibility of obtaining relief. The Notice shall be no smaller than three columns by six inches and shall be published on two separate occasions in the leading student newspaper at Millikin University. The publication dates for the notice to be published in the student newspaper shall be separated from one another by at least 21 days. Within 10 days of each publication date, defendants shall provide to counsel for the United States the newspaper containing the Notice.
      3. Within 10 days of the entry of this Decree, defendants shall send copies of the Notice to one or more organizations providing Fair Housing or disability services in or near Decatur, Illinois. The parties agree that defendants may comply with this provision by sending notices to the organizations listed on Appendix B.
      4. Within 30 days of the entry of this Decree, defendants shall send, by first-class mail, the Notice to each current and former tenant at The Woods Apartments. Defendants shall also send, by first class mail, the Notice to each current and former student with disabilities. Within 45 days of entry of this Decree, defendants shall provide to counsel for the United States proof that the Notice has been sent and a list of the recipients.
      5. Within 30 days of the entry of this Decree, defendants shall make available for inspection and copying by the United States its rental and application records including the name and contact information for persons who resided at, applied to reside at, or inquired about residing at The Woods Apartments. Defendant Millikin University shall also provide the United States with names and contact information for every student with a disability who attends or has attended Millikin University.
      6. Nothing in this section shall preclude the United States from making its own efforts to locate and provide notice to potential aggrieved persons.
      7. The United States shall determine in its sole discretion who is aggrieved and the appropriate amount of damages to be paid to such persons. The United States shall inform defendants of these determinations within 180 days after defendants notify the United States that the last notice required by paragraph III.A.2.b has been published. If the United States requires additional time to make the determinations, it will so inform defendants. Within 30 days after the United States has informed defendants of its determinations, joint defendants shall send payment to the aggrieved persons in the form of a cashier's check care of the United States, or as otherwise directed by the United States.
      8. No person shall be paid any money from the Fund until the following conditions have been met:
        1. The recipient has submitted to the United States a sworn declaration setting forth the factual basis of the claim;
        2. The United States has provided a copy of the declaration to defendants, and defendants have had 14 days to review the declaration and provide to the United States any documents or information that they believe may refute or otherwise bear on the claim.
        3. The recipient has executed and delivered to counsel for the United States a written release (Appendix C) of all claims, legal or equitable, which he, she or a member of his/her family might have against defendants relating to the claims asserted in this lawsuit.
      9. Upon reasonable notice to joint defendants, representatives of the United States shall be permitted to inspect and copy any of joint defendants' records relating to the administration of the fund.
      10. Any funds remaining after the completion of this process shall be distributed in accordance with the provisions of paragraph III.A.3 below.

    3. Remaining Funds

      The parties recognize that as a result of the joint defendants' failure to comply with the Fair Housing Act accessible design and construction requirements, the stock of accessible rental housing at or near Millikin University has been, and will continue to be, significantly less than it would have been had joint defendants complied with the accessibility requirements. To partially remedy this situation, the joint defendants will, 30 days after the completion of the claims process specified in Paragraph III.A.2 above, pay the remainder of any funds remaining in the fund established in Paragraph III.A.2 to an organization approved by the United States in or near Decatur, Illinois, involved in meeting the housing needs of persons with disabilities. The approved organization will use these funds for the purpose of increasing the local stock of accessible housing and for funding accessibility modifications to existing housing. The United States may condition its approval upon an agreement between the United States and the organization for appropriate conditions on the use of the funds.

    4. New Construction

      Defendants First Site Commercial Properties, Inc., Jeffrey Tinervin, The Woods, LLC, and BLDD Architects shall, by August 31, 2004, design and construct, at minimum, two new buildings, each containing twelve (12) residential rental housing units and forty-eight (48) beds (for a total of twenty four (24) units with ninety-six (96) beds) that comply with the specifications of the American National Standards Institute ("ANSI") A117.1 (1998) Type A (fully accessible) dwelling units. Within each building, each of the four first floor units shall have at least one roll-in shower that complies with the technical specifications contained in the ADA Standards for Accessible Design, 28 CFR Part 36, App. A, Fig. 57. Joint defendants are responsible for completing the new construction specified in this Consent Decree before ownership of The Woods may be transferred or sold. The rents charged to students at these two new buildings shall be no higher than the rent charged to students at other buildings at The Woods.

      Defendant Millikin University shall seek and grant all approvals necessary pursuant to its lease with First Site Commercial Properties, Inc., Jeffrey Tinervin, and The Woods, LLC, to facilitate the development of the first building at The Woods property. The first building shall be completed for occupancy, at the latest, by August 31, 2002. With respect to the second building, defendants First Site Commercial Properties, Inc., Jeffrey Tinervin, and The Woods, LLC, shall use their best efforts to seek all necessary approvals from the university's board of trustees within twelve months of the entry of this Consent Decree to build the second building at The Woods property. If defendants First Site Commercial Properties, Inc., Jeffrey Tinervin, and The Woods, LLC, fail to obtain the necessary approvals (to build the second building at The Woods property) from the university board of trustees (or the appropriate board committee responsible for decisions relating to The Woods) within twelve months of the date of entry of this Consent Decree, they shall pay an additional $10,000 into a fund which shall be distributed to an organization approved by the United States for purposes set forth in paragraph III.A.3, above; defendants First Site Commercial Properties, Inc., Jeffrey Tinervin, and The Woods, LLC, shall then proceed to complete the second building at 1028-1034 West Woods in Decatur (located across the street from The Woods Apartments). In either case, the second building shall be completed for occupancy, at the latest, by August 31, 2004.

      For each building, immediately upon completion of the construction, and before the units are occupied or leased, joint defendants shall arrange for an architectural firm (or other person or entity with expertise in the design and construction requirements applicable to multifamily housing), approved by the United States, to conduct on-site surveys of these properties and provide written certification to the parties as to whether or not the housing has been constructed in compliance with the technical specifications for ANSI A117.1 (1998) Type A (fully accessible) dwelling units, and with the technical specifications contained in the ADA Standards for Accessible Design, 28 CFR Part 36, App. A, Fig. 57 for those units having a roll-in shower. If such surveys indicate that the construction does not so comply, joint defendants shall correct any deficiencies within thirty (30) days and submit a new certification. This process shall continue until the person or entity certifies that all of the necessary modifications have been made. Joint defendants shall pay all costs associated with the surveys and certifications specified above. Defendant Millikin University, while not obligated to fund the costs of construction of the new construction units in the first instance, shall, in the event of default by the joint defendants, be responsible for bearing the costs of the new construction up to a maximum of $25,000. Such payment shall not affect any recourse or remedy defendant Millikin may have against defendants First Site Commercial Properties, Inc., The Woods, LLC, and Jeffrey Tinervin.

    5. Modifications to the Common Building

      Retrofits bringing, at minimum, the elevator in the Common Building at The Woods Apartments into compliance with ANSI A117.1 Section 4.10 shall be completed by September 30, 2002, or within ninety (90) days of entry of this Consent Decree, whichever is later. The estimated cost of the retrofitting the elevator in the common building is $65,000. (2) Joint defendants are responsible for bringing the elevator into compliance in the Common Building before ownership of The Woods may be transferred or sold.

      Following the completion of the retrofit to the elevator in the Common Building, an architectural firm (or other person or entity with expertise in the design and construction requirements applicable to multifamily housing), approved by the United States, shall conduct on-site surveys of the Woods and provide written certification to the parties as to whether or not the joint defendants have correctly made the modifications to the Common Building and brought the elevator into compliance with the Act and the Guidelines and, where applicable, the ADA and the ADA Standards for Accessible Design ("ADAAG"). If such surveys indicate that modifications do not comply, joint defendants shall correct any deficiencies within thirty (30) days and submit a new certification. This process shall continue until the architect or architectural entity certifies that all of the necessary modifications have been made. Defendants First Site Commercial Properties, Inc., Jeffrey Tinervin, The Woods, LLC, and BLDD Architects, Inc., are jointly and severally responsible for all costs associated with the retrofits, compliance surveys, and compliance certifications specified in this Consent Decree. Defendant Millikin University, while not obligated to fund the costs of the required modification in the first instance, shall, in the event of default by the joint defendants, be responsible for bearing the costs of modification up to a maximum of $15,000. Such payment shall not affect any recourse or remedy defendant Millikin may have against defendants First Site Commercial Properties, Inc., The Woods, LLC, and Jeffrey Tinervin.

    6. Civil Penalty

      Within five (5) days of entry of this Consent Decree, defendant The Woods, LLC shall pay the sum of $10,000 in a civil penalty, pursuant to 42 U.S.C. § 3614(d)(1)(C). Payment shall be in the form of money order or cashier's check made payable to "United States Treasury." Payment shall be sent by overnight mail to:

      ATTN: Ming-Yuen Meyer-Fong
      Trial Attorney
      Housing and Civil Enforcement Section
      Civil Rights Division
      U.S. Department of Justice
      1800 G Street., NW, Suite 7002
      Washington, DC 20006

      In the event of default by The Woods, LLC, defendants First Site Commercial Properties, Inc., Jeffrey Tinervin, and BLDD Architects, Inc., shall be jointly and severally liable for this payment.

    7. Record-Keeping

      For the term of this Consent Decree, joint defendants are required to preserve all records related to this Consent Decree, for all properties designed, constructed, owned, operated, or acquired by them. Upon reasonable notice to joint defendants, representatives of the United States shall be permitted to inspect and copy any of their records or inspect any developments or residential units under their control covered by the Fair Housing Act or any other applicable federal law bearing on compliance with this Consent Decree at any and all reasonable times.

    8. Inspection of Retrofits and New Construction

      Upon reasonable notice to Defendants First Site Commercial Properties, Inc., The Woods, LLC, and Jeffrey Tinervin, representatives of the United States shall be permitted to inspect the retrofits performed under this Consent Decree and any other properties designed or constructed by defendants First Site Commercial Properties, Inc., The Woods, LLC, and Tinervin, including the two new buildings referenced in paragraph III.A.4 to ensure compliance with this Consent Decree at any and all reasonable times.

  2. Specific Remedies For Architect BLDD Architects, Inc.
    1. Technical Assistance

      For the duration of this Consent Decree, Defendant BLDD Architects and its staff shall provide a total of 400 hours of technical assistance to non-profit organizations that promote fair housing, disability rights or affordable housing. Defendant BLDD Architects shall provide at least 100 hours of such technical assistance in each of the first two years after entry of this Consent Decree. Defendant BLDD Architects shall submit documentation from the recipient non-profit organizations demonstrating the provision of such technical assistance.

    2. Professional Training

      No later than 30 days after the date of entry of this Consent Decree, defendant BLDD Architects, Inc., shall provide to all its employees, agents and contractors involved in the design of multifamily and student dwellings covered by the Act, (1) a copy of this Consent Decree; and (2) instruction on (i) the terms of this Consent Decree; (ii) the requirements of the Act with a particular emphasis on the Act's design and construction requirements and (iii) a statement of their responsibilities and obligations under each. The training shall be conducted by a qualified person or organization approved by the United States. Any expenses associated with this training shall be borne by defendant BLDD Architects, Inc.. Each new employee, agent, or contractor retained by defendant BLDD Architects, Inc., during the term of this Decree must comply with the above requirements no later than 30 days after the date he or she commences an employment, agency, or contractual relationship with defendant BLDD Architects, Inc. No later than 30 days after the completion of the training, defendant BLDD shall secure and deliver to counsel for the United States a signed statement from each such employee, agent, or contractor indicating that he or she has received, read, and understood this Consent Decree and has attended the Fair Housing program.

    3. Reporting

      For the duration of this Consent Decree, defendant BLDD Architects, Inc., shall submit to counsel for the United States the following information regarding any covered multifamily dwellings that it designs before the developer applies for the initial building permits: (1) the names and addresses of the builders and developers; (2) the name and address of the project; (3) the type of and nature of the project (i.e., condominiums or apartments) and total number of covered dwelling units planned; (4) a certification that BLDD reviewed the drawings; and (5) a certification that the architectural drawings produced for the developer include design specifications that comply with the requirements of the Fair Housing Act, Fair Housing Act Accessibility Guidelines, the Fair Housing Act Design Manual, and, where applicable, the Americans with Disabilities Act, and ADA Standards for Accessible Design. Defendant BLDD Architects, Inc., will submit such information for new construction of covered multifamily dwelling, as well as for any substantial renovation or rehabilitation of existing covered multifamily residential dwelling. Notwithstanding any certification, the United States may examine the design and structure of any project for compliance with the Fair Housing Act Accessibility Guidelines or any other applicable federal accessibility law.

  3. Specific Remedies For First Site Commercial Properties, Inc., The Woods, LLC; and Jeffrey Tinervin
    1. Amendment To Lease Agreement

      Defendants First Site, The Woods, LLC, and Tinervin shall amend the lease of rental units at The Woods Apartments to provide that tenants who do not have disabilities agree to move from a unit with accessible design features in order to accommodate applicants who are disabled, or tenants who become disabled during the course of their tenancy, who request a unit with accessible design features.

    2. Notice to the Public of Defendants First Site, The Woods, LLC, and Tinervin's Non-Discrimination Policy

      Defendants First Site, The Woods, LLC, and Jeffrey Tinervin shall post and prominently display in its housing rental offices a sign no smaller than ten by fourteen inches indicating that all dwellings are available for rent to students on a non-discriminatory basis. A poster that comports with 24 C.F.R. Part 110 will satisfy this requirement. Defendants First Site, The Woods, LLC, and Jeffrey Tinervin shall also post a sign on the home page of their business website indicating that all dwellings are available for rent on a non-discriminatory basis.

      In addition, for the duration of this Consent Decree, in all future advertising in newspapers, and on pamphlets, brochures and other promotional literature regarding The Woods Apartments, Defendants First Site, The Woods, LLC, and Jeffrey Tinervin shall place, in a conspicuous location, a statement that accessible units are available for persons with disabilities. If human models are used in any promotional literature, defendants shall consider using models with visible disabilities in such literature.

    3. Professional Training

      Within thirty (30) days of entry of this Consent Decree, defendants First Site, The Woods, LLC, and Jeffrey Tinervin shall provide to all their supervisory employees, sales or rental agents, and site managers who are involved in the design, construction, sale or rental of multifamily dwellings covered by the Act: (1) a copy of this Consent Decree; and (2) educational instruction on (i) the terms of this Consent Decree; (ii) the requirements of the Act with a particular emphasis on the Act's accessible design and construction requirements, and (iii) their responsibilities and obligations under each. The educational instruction on the Act's design and construction requirements shall be conducted by the Soyland Access for Independent Living ("SAIL"), or by a qualified person or organization approved by the United States. Any expenses associated with this training shall be borne by Defendants First Site Commercial Properties, Inc., The Woods, LLC, and Jeffrey Tinervin. Each new supervisory employee, sales or rental agent, or site manager retained by Defendants First Site, The Woods, LLC, and Tinervin during the term of this Decree must comply with the above requirements within thirty days after the employment, agency, or contractual relationship commences.

    4. Reporting Requirements
      1. Initial Report

        Sixty days after the date of entry of this Consent Decree, Defendants First Site, The Woods, LLC, and Tinervin shall submit to counsel for the United States an initial report regarding the signed statements of current supervisory employees, rental or sales agents, and site managers who have completed the educational program.

      2. Subsequent Reporting

        Once every six months after the entry of this Consent Decree, Defendants First Site, The Woods, LLC, and Tinervin shall submit to counsel for the United States a report containing the following:

        1. Signed statements of new supervisory employees, sales agents, and site managers who have completed the educational program during the most recent reporting period (see Section III.C.3. above);
        2. The name, address, and telephone number of any tenant or prospective tenant who requested retrofits, the date on which the retrofits were requested, and the date on which the retrofits were completed;
        3. The cost of implementing any retrofits performed to the common use or public use areas or any interior of covered units at The Woods Apartments during the previous reporting period;
        4. Any affirmative advertisements placed in any media pursuant to Section III.C.2. above, during the previous reporting period;
        5. Any change in ownership or management of residential properties under Defendants' control, specifying the name, address, and telephone number of the new owner and/or manager, or the address of any new residential properties acquired or managed by Defendants First Site, The Woods, LLC, or Tinervin.
      3. Fair Housing Complaints

        Defendants First Site, The Woods, LLC, and Tinervin shall advise counsel for the United States in writing within fifteen days of receipt of any written complaint against them, or their employees or agents, regarding equal opportunity in housing. Defendants First Site, The Woods, LLC, and Tinervin shall also promptly provide the United States all information it may request concerning any such complaint.

      4. New Construction

        For the duration of this Consent Decree, and with respect to any new construction of residential rental housing, defendants First Site Commercial Properties, Inc., The Woods, LLC, and Jeffrey Tinervin shall submit to counsel for the United States, prior to any application for building permits: (1) the name and address of the project; (2) the names and addresses of all architects and site engineers; (3) a description of the project and the number of individual units; and (4) a certification by a licensed architect with knowledge of the Fair Housing Act, the Fair Housing Act Accessibility Guidelines, the ADA, and the ADA Standards for Accessible Design, that (a) describes his or her knowledge and training in the field of accessible design, and (b) certifies that he or she has reviewed the drawings, and that all the specifications included in the drawings comply with the requirements of the Fair Housing Act and Fair Housing Act Accessibility Guidelines and, where applicable, the ADA. Defendants First Site, The Woods, LLC, and Tinervin shall submit the same information with regard to any substantial renovation or rehabilitation of existing residential rental housing in their ownership or management portfolio prior to any application for building permits. Notwithstanding any certifications of compliance, the Department reserves the right to examine the design and structure of any construction for compliance with the Fair Housing Act Accessibility Guidelines or any other applicable federal accessibility law.

    5. Specific Remedies For Millikin University
      1. Reporting Requirements for New Construction or Rehabilitation of Student Housing

        For the duration of this Consent Decree, for all new construction of student housing constructed by, or in joint concert with, Millikin University, the university shall submit to counsel for the United States, prior to the application for the initial building permits for the project, the following information: (1) the name and address of the project; (2) a description of the project and the individual units; (3) the name of any architect or site engineer involved with the project; and (4) a statement by a licensed architect with knowledge of the Fair Housing Act and Fair Housing Act Accessibility Guidelines (a) acknowledging and describing his or her knowledge of and training in the requirements of Fair Housing Act and in the field of accessible design, and (b) certifying that he/she has reviewed such plans and that the plans' design specifications fully comply with the requirements of the Act and Guidelines; the Fair Housing Design Manual; the Americans with Disabilities Act and the ADA Standards of Accessible Design, 28 C.F.R. Pt. 36, App. A; and any applicable state or local accessibility guidelines. For the duration of this Consent Decree, defendant Millikin University agrees to submit the same information described above for any substantial renovation or rehabilitation of existing student housing on Millikin University property prior to any application for building permits. Notwithstanding any statements of compliance, the Department reserves the right to examine the design and structure of any construction for compliance with the Fair Housing Act Accessibility Guidelines or any other applicable federal accessibility law.

      2. Appointment of University Ombudsman For Disability Outreach

        Within 45 days of the entry of this Consent Decree, Millikin University shall (1) designate a University employee knowledgeable on accessibility issues to serve as ombudsman to assist and counsel students on campus access issues, including assisting students with disabilities to locate accessible housing on or off campus, and (2) shall adopt and implement a written policy, to be approved by the United States, to ensure that students with disabilities have equal access to student housing.

  1. ADMINISTRATIVE

This Consent Decree shall remain in effect for four years after the date of its entry and shall be binding upon the parties and their officers, employees, agents, heirs, successors and assigns, and all other persons in active concert or participation with them. By consenting to entry of this Decree, Defendants First Site Commercial Properties, Inc., Jeffrey Tinervin, The Woods, LLC, and BLDD Architects, Inc., agree that in the event that they engage in any future violation(s) of the Fair Housing Act, such violation(s) shall constitute a "subsequent violation" pursuant to 42 U.S.C. § 3614(d)(1)(C)(ii). The Complaint shall be dismissed as to the Defendants without prejudice to the right of the United States to petition the Court, at any time during the duration of this Decree, to reopen the case for the sole purpose of enforcing the Decree. The parties to this Consent Decree shall endeavor in good faith to resolve informally any differences regarding interpretation of and compliance with this Decree prior to bringing such matters to the Court for resolution.

Each party to this litigation will bear its own costs and attorneys' fees associated with this litigation.

It is so ORDERED, ADJUDGED and DECREED this date ___________.

_______________________________
UNITED STATES DISTRICT JUDGE


FOR THE PLAINTIFFS

JOAN A. MAGAGNA
Chief
TIMOTHY J. MORAN
Deputy Chief
MING-YUEN MEYER-FONG
Trial Attorney
United States Department of Justice
CiviL Rights Division
Housing and Civil Enforcement Section - G St.
950 Pennsylvania Ave., NW
Washington, DC 20530
Tel: (202) 305-1311
Fax: (202) 514-1116

FRANCES C. HULIN
United States Attorney

DAVID HOFFMAN
Assistant United States Attorney
Central District of Illinois
201 S. Vine St., Rm. 226,
Urbana, IL 61801

JEFFERY TINERVIN, for defendants
First Site Commerical Properties, Inc.
The Woods, LLC, and
Jeffery Tinervin
100 East Beaufort Street
Normal, IL 61761

RONALD RECK, Vice President of Finance
and Business Affairds, for defendant
Millikin University
Shilling Hall
1184 West Main
Decatur, IL 62522

CHARLES CRESS, AIA, for defendant
BLDD Architects, Inc.
100 merchant Street
Decatur, IL 62523


APPENDIX A Notice to Potential Victims of Housing Discrimination

On _____________________, 2002, the United States District Court for the Central District of Illinois entered a consent decree resolving a lawsuit brought by the United States Department of Justice against certain parties who participated in the construction and development of The Woods Apartments in Decatur, Illinois, alleging that they failed to include certain handicap accessible features required by the Fair Housing Act, 42 U.S.C. § 3604(f)(3)(C).

In that lawsuit, the Department of Justice alleges that The Woods Apartments does not comply with the law because:

The defendants have failed to design and construct the covered dwelling units and common use areas at The Woods Apartments in such a manner that:

  1. The public use and common use areas are readily accessible to and usable by persons with disabilities;
  2. All the doors leading into and through the units are sufficiently wide to allow passage by wheelchair users; and
  3. All the units contain the following features of accessible design:
    • An accessible route into and through the dwelling;
    • Light switches, electrical outlets, thermostats, and other environmental controls in accessible locations;
    • Reinforcements in bathroom walls to allow later installation of grab bars; and
    • Usable kitchens and bathrooms such that an individual in a wheelchair can maneuver about the space.

These actions resulted in the (1) discriminatory denial of dwellings to persons because of handicap, in violation of 42 U.S.C. § 3604(f)(1); (2) discrimination in the terms, conditions, or privileges of rental of a dwelling, or in the provision of services or facilities in connection with such a dwelling, because of handicap, in violation of 42 U.S.C. § 3604(f)(2); and (3) violation of the design and construction requirements mandated by 42 U.S.C. § 3604(f)(3)(C).

Under this consent decree, you may be entitled to receive monetary relief if you, or anyone you know,

  • WERE/WAS DISCOURAGED FROM LIVING AT THE WOODS APARTMENTS BECAUSE OF THE LACK OF ACCESSIBILITY FEATURES;
  • HAVE/HAS BEEN HURT IN ANY WAY BY THE LACK OF HANDICAP ACCESSIBILITY FEATURES AT THE WOODS APARTMENTS;
  • PAID TO HAVE YOUR APARTMENT AT THE WOODS APARTMENTS MADE MORE HANDICAP ACCESSIBLE; OR
  • WERE/WAS OTHERWISE DISCRIMINATED AGAINST ON THE BASIS OF DISABILITY AT THE WOODS APARTMENTS.

If you wish to make a claim for discrimination on the basis of disability, or if you have any information about persons who may have such a claim, please contact the United States Department of Justice at 1-800-896-7743 immediately. You may also write to:

United States Department of Justice
Civil Rights Division
Housing and Civil Enforcement Section
950 Pennsylvania Avenue, N.W.
Washington, D.C. 20530
Fax: (202) 514-1116
ATTN: The Woods/BLDD/Millikin Monitor, DJ 175-24-70



APPENDIX B LIST OF DISABILITY AND FAIR HOUSING ORGANIZATIONS
Marca Bristo
Access Living of Metro Chicago
310 South Peoria, Suite 201
Chicago, IL 60607
Tel: (312) 226-5900
Matt Abrahamson
Soyland Access to IL (SAIL)
2545 Millikin Parkway, Suite 1305
Decatur, IL 62526

Catherine Hollan
Stone-Hayes CIL
39 North Prairie St.
Galesburg, IL 61401
Tel: (309) 344-1306

Pam Heavens
Will-Grundy CIL
2415A West Jefferson Street
Joliet, IL 60435
Tel: (815) 729-0162

Lori Clark
Lake Country CIL
706 East Hawley St.
Mundelein, IL 60060
Tel: (815) 949-4440

Liz Sherwin
O;;inois-Iowa ILC
P.O. Box 6156
Rock Island, IL 61204
Tel: (319) 324-1460

Juli Bosma
RAMP
202 Market Street
Rockford, IL 61107
Tel: (815) 968-7467

HOPE Fair Housing Center
2100 Manchester Bldg. B, Ste 1070
Wheaton, IL 60187
ATTN: Bernard Klenia, Exc. Dir.
Tel. (63) 690-6500

Life Center for Independent Living
ATTN: Gai Kear, Executive Dir.
2201 Eastland Drive, Suite 1
Bloomington, IL 61704
(309) 663-5433

PACE
ATTN: Nancy McClellan-Hickey
Executive Director
1317 East Florida
Urbana, IL 61801
(217) 344-5433


APPENDIX C RELEASE OF CLAIMS

In consideration of the payment of the sum of _____________dollars ($_____), pursuant to the Consent Decree entered in United States v. First Site Commercial Properties, Inc., et al., Civil Action No. _____ (C.D. Ill.), I hereby release the defendants named in this action from any and all liability for any claims, legal or equitable, I may have against them arising out of the issues alleged in the above-styled action.

I fully acknowledge and agree that this release of the defendants shall be binding on my heirs, representatives, executors, successors, administrators, and assigns.

I hereby acknowledge that I have read and understand this release and have executed it voluntarily and with full knowledge of its legal consequences.

__________________________
Name

__________________________
Date


1. If any of the payments required under this Decree are made after the prescribed time, for whatever reason, such payments shall include interest from the prescribed time of payment, calculated by the formula set forth in 28 U.S.C. § 1961. Payment of such interest shall be in addition to any other remedies available to the United States' for delays in payment.

2. This cost estimate is for informational purposes only. Joint defendants shall complete all required work to bring the elevator in the common building into compliance regardless of actual cost, should that differ from the estimated cost.


Document Filed: May 14, 2002.

Document Signed: May 17, 2002. > >

Updated August 6, 2015

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