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Press Release

Justice Department Secures Agreement with Architects and Builders of Hawaii Apartment Complexes to Resolve Allegations of Disability-Based Discrimination

For Immediate Release
Office of Public Affairs

The Justice Department announced today that Hawaii-based developer, Albert C. Kobayashi Inc., and other defendants have agreed to pay $120,000 to settle claims that they violated the Fair Housing Act (FHA). The department’s lawsuit, filed in 2019 and amended in 2022, alleges that the defendants failed to design and build five multifamily housing complexes in Hawaii with required accessible features for persons with disabilities.

Under the agreement, which must be approved by the U.S. District Court for the District of Hawaii, the defendants are required to make extensive retrofits at the properties, including replacing or modifying steps and overly steep slopes on sidewalks and walkways, lowering mailboxes so that people with disabilities can reach them and modifying doorways, kitchens and bathrooms so that persons in wheelchairs can use them. The defendants will also pay $200,000 for additional accessibility-related improvements at one of the properties.

“People with disabilities have the right to safe and accessible housing,” said Assistant Attorney General Kristen Clarke of the Justice Department’s Civil Rights Division. “Under this agreement, hundreds of apartment units in Hawaii will be significantly improved so that people with disabilities are able to easily navigate the property. The Justice Department will continue to aggressively enforce our federal civil rights laws to address discrimination faced by people with disabilities across our country.”

“These Hawaii developers were required by law to provide accessibility features for persons with disabilities,” said U.S. Attorney Clare E. Connors for the District of Hawaii. “Enforcement of these federal rights is a priority, and this settlement marks significant progress towards achieving it.”

The five properties in this case are Napilihau Villages, in Lahaina; Napili Villas, in Lahaina; Wailea Fairway Villas, in Kihei; Kahului Town Terrace, in Kahului; and Palehua Terrace Phase I, in Kapolei. Two of these properties — Kahului Town Terrace and Palehua Terrace Phase I — were designed as affordable housing under the federal government’s Low Income Housing Tax Credit program. The other defendants are Martin V. Cooper, Design Partners Inc., Michael N. Goshi, Fritz Johnson Inc., Frederick M. Johnson, Stanford Carr Development LLC, SCD Wailea Fairways LLC, Sato & Associates Inc., Fukumoto Engineering Inc., Rojac Construction Inc., Delta Construction Corp., Warren S. Unemori Engineering Inc., GYA Architects Inc. and Goodfellow Bros. LLC.

The Justice Department’s Civil Rights Division enforces the FHA, which prohibits discrimination in housing based on disability, race, color, religion, national origin, sex and familial status. The FHA requires that residential buildings with four or more units constructed after March 13, 1991, have basic accessible features. More information about the Civil Rights Division and the laws it enforces is available at Individuals may report disability discrimination or other forms of housing discrimination by calling the Justice Department’s Housing Discrimination tip line at 1-833-591-0291, e-mailing the Justice Department at or submitting a report online. Individuals may also report such discrimination by contacting Department of Housing and Urban Development at 1-800-669-9777 or by filing a complaint online.

View the proposed consent order here.

Updated October 20, 2023

Civil Rights
Fair Housing
Press Release Number: 23-1175