Justice Department Files Statement of Interest in Religious Land Use Case Involving Oregon Church That Feeds People Who are Homeless or Hungry
WASHINGTON – The Justice Department today announced that a federal district court judge in Louisville, Ky., approved a settlement of the Department’s lawsuit alleging that those involved in the design and construction of 12 multifamily housing complexes discriminated on the basis of disability. The complexes contain more than 800 units covered by the Fair Housing Act’s accessibility provisions.
Under the settlement, the defendants will pay all costs related to making the apartment complexes accessible to persons with disabilities and pay $255,000 to compensate individuals harmed by the inaccessible housing. The defendants will also pay a $25,000 civil penalty to vindicate the public interest and undergo training on the requirements of the Fair Housing Act.
"The civil rights laws require equal access to housing, including equal access for persons with disabilities," said Loretta King, Acting Assistant Attorney General for the Civil Rights Division. "This comprehensive resolution will ensure that the equal housing opportunities required by law are provided in these housing complexes, and compensate those injured by the builders’ and designers’ failure to provide accessible housing."
"The U.S. Attorney’s Office for the Western District of Kentucky commends the defendants in this action for agreeing to change their plans and construction to assure their developments are accessible to all," said Acting U.S. Attorney Candace G. Hill of the Western District of Kentucky. "The residents of these developments deserve quality housing that complies with Fair Housing Accessibility Guidelines and the Americans with Disabilities Act. The consent decree is a good resolution for the parties and for the people of this community."
The defendants responsible for the payments and retrofits are DKCD Inc. d/b/a Renaissance Development d/b/a Renaissance Homes and d/b/a Renaissance Realty Investments; William M. Carroll, Jr.; Eric Claypool; Cooper Creek Village LLC; Deering Road LLC; Glenmary Village LLC; Hawk Design Inc.; Heritage Engineering LLC; Land Design & Development Inc.; Mindel, Scott & Associates Inc.; Renaissance/Audubon Woods II LLC; Renaissance/Deering Road LLC d/b/a Woodridge Lake; Renaissance-Glenmary Village Apartments LLC; Renaissance Homes LLC; Renaissance/LS LLC d/b/a Springs of Glenmary Village; Renaissance Realty Investments I LLC; Renaissance/St. Andrews LLC; Renaissance/Valley Farms LLC; Renaissance/VFA LLC; Tucker & Booker Inc.; Woodridge Lake Builders LLC; and Woods of St. Andrews LLC. These defendants will retrofit the following complexes in Louisville, Ky.:
1. Audubon Woods Condominiums, Cardinal Dr.
2. Cooper Creek Village Apartments, Cooper Village Terrace
3. Gardens of Glenmary Village Condominiums, Bardstown Rd.
4. Glenmary Village Apartments, Bardstown Rd.
5. Glenmary Village Overlook Condominiums, Bardstown Rd.
6. Renaissance St. Andrews Apartments, Renwood Blvd.
7. Renaissance St. Andrews Condominiums, Renwood Blvd.
8. Springs of Glenmary Village Condominiums, Bardstown Rd.
9. Valley Farms Apartments, Valley Station Rd.
10. Valley Farms Condominiums, Valley Station Rd.
11. Woodridge Lake Patio Homes, Deering Rd.
12. Woods of St. Andrews Condominiums, St. Andrews Woods Cir.
The retrofitting includes modifying walkways, removing steps, providing accessible curb ramps and parking, and providing accessible walks to site amenities, such as the clubhouses, pools, mailboxes and trash facilities. It also requires the defendants to replace inaccessible knob door hardware with levers, lower thermostats to accessible heights, and reconfigure bathrooms and kitchens.
The lawsuit arose as a result of a complaint to the Justice Department by the Fair Housing Council, then a local Louisville non-profit organization that received funding from the Department of Housing and Urban Development. The Fair Housing Council ceased operations in 2007. The Department conducted its own investigation and subsequently filed the lawsuit in September 2007.
The federal Fair Housing Act prohibits discrimination in housing based on race, color, religion, national origin, sex, disability and familial status. More information about the Civil Rights Division and the laws it enforces is available at http://www.usdoj.gov/crt. Individuals who believe that they may have been victims of housing discrimination can call the Housing Discrimination Tip Line at 1-800-896-7743, email the Justice Department at email@example.com, or contact HUD at 1-800-669-9777.