| FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE |
MONDAY, FEBRUARY 9, 2004
| CRT |
TDD (202) 514-1888
JUSTICE DEPARTMENT SETTLES HOUSING DISCRIMINATION CASE IN NEVADA
- The Justice Department today announced an agreement with the owners, developers, and general contractors of a condominium complex in Nevada to settle a lawsuit alleging violations of the federal Fair Housing Act.
The defendants, Torino Construction Corporation of Nevada, Inc., Sedona Corporation; Paradise Village F&B, and Canyon Willow II, LLC, were responsible for the construction of Canyon Willow Condominiums in Las Vegas, Nevada. They have agreed to settle a lawsuit brought by the Civil Rights Division of the United States Department of Justice by paying $1,420,000 towards making the complex accessible to persons with disabilities.
"The Fair Housing Act requires that multi-family housing be designed and constructed so that persons with disabilities can access and use the premises," said R. Alexander Acosta, Assistant Attorney General for Civil Rights. "Through settlement agreements such as this one, the Justice Department is ensuring that housing is available on equal terms to all Americans. We are pleased that the defendants cooperated with the Justice Department in resolving this matter."
The settlement, which must still be approved by a federal district judge, calls for the defendants to make a lump sum payment of $1,420,000 that will be used by the Canyon Willow Homeowners Association to make the complex accessible to persons with disabilities. In addition, $75,0000 will be available to compensate individuals who may have suffered as a result of defendants' failure to construct Canyon Willow in accordance with the Fair Housing Act's accessibility provisions. Finally, the defendants will pay $5,000 as a civil penalty to the United States.
Planned renovations to the complex include retrofits to its public use and common areas and to the interior of ground-floor units for owners who request them. The exterior retrofits include removing steps, regrading steep slopes on the sidewalks, providing designated, accessible parking, installing curb ramps, and making the clubhouse accessible to persons with disabilities. The interior retrofits involve widening doors, lowering thresholds, and reinforcing walls at toilets and bathtubs to allow for the future installation of grab bars.
Individuals who believe they may have been victims of housing discrimination may call the Justice Department's Housing and Civil Enforcement Section at 800-896-7743. Additional information is available on HUD's website at www.hud.gov and the Justice Department website at www.usdoj.gov/crt/housing