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Press Release

United States Settles Fair Housing Act Lawsuit Against Artimus Construction For Failure To Construct Apartments Accessible To Persons With Disabilities

For Immediate Release
U.S. Attorney's Office, Southern District of New York

Damian Williams, the United States Attorney for the Southern District of New York, announced today that the United States has settled a federal Fair Housing Act (“FHA”) lawsuit against ARTIMUS CONSTRUCTION, INC. (“ARTIMUS”).  Under the settlement, ARTIMUS has agreed to make retrofits at rental buildings in Harlem and Chelsea, named Susan’s Court and Chelsea Park, respectively.  ARTIMUS also agreed to provide $75,000 to compensate aggrieved persons and pay a $5,000 civil penalty.  Additionally, ARTIMUS agreed to establish procedures to survey four additional properties, two in Manhattan and two in Queens, to improve accessibility and agreed to ensure that its future residential development projects will comply with the accessibility requirements of the FHA.  The settlement was approved today by U.S. District Judge Paul A. Engelmayer. 

U.S. Attorney Damian Williams said: “This Office has brought multiple suits to address the failure of real estate developers to comply with the Fair Housing Act, and we will continue to ensure that New York City’s residential housing market is open to everyone, including people with disabilities.  We appreciate Artimus’s cooperation in remedying the inaccessible conditions in their buildings.”

According to the allegations in the complaint and the settlement approved today:

The FHA’s accessible design and construction provisions require multifamily housing complexes constructed after January 1991 to have basic features accessible to persons with disabilities.  The inaccessible conditions at ARTIMUS’s rental buildings included excessively high thresholds at building entrances and entrances to common use areas, common use bathrooms that lack grab bars and pipe insulation, excessively high thresholds at entrances to individual apartments and within the apartments, and bathrooms in individual apartments that lack sufficient clear floor space for people who use wheelchairs.  These features in the common use areas of ARTIMUS’s buildings, as well as in the buildings’ apartment interiors, did not meet the specifications set forth in the Fair Housing Accessibility Guidelines, Design Guidelines for Accessible/Adaptable Dwellings.

Under the settlement, ARTIMUS agreed to make retrofits to the public and common use areas as well as the individual units at the Chelsea Park and Susan’s Court buildings to improve accessibility.  The settlement also requires ARTIMUS to establish procedures to ensure FHA compliance at its future development projects, including to retain an FHA compliance consultant to assess the design documents and conduct site visits to identify non-compliant conditions.  In addition, ARTIMUS agreed to institute policies and training to ensure that its employees and agents will comply with the FHA’s accessibility requirements.

Finally, the settlement requires ARTIMUS to provide $75,000 to compensate aggrieved persons.  Aggrieved persons may be entitled to monetary compensation from the fund created through today’s settlement.  Aggrieved individuals may include those who:

  • Were discouraged from living at ARTIMUS’s rental buildings because of the lack of accessible features;
  • Have been hurt in any way by the lack of accessible features at ARTIMUS’s rental buildings;
  • Paid to have an apartment at one of ARTIMUS’s rental buildings made more accessible to persons with disabilities; or
  • Otherwise were discriminated against on the basis of disability at one of ARTIMUS’s rental buildings as a result of inaccessible design and construction.

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The settlement with ARTIMUS is the 18th settlement reached by this Office with developers and architects to remedy inaccessible housing in this District, including suits against The Durst Organization, Glenwood Management, Silverstein Properties, Related Companies, and Atlantic Development.

Any individual who may be entitled to compensation can file a claim by using the Civil Rights Complaint Form available on the United States Attorney’s Office’s website or by sending a written claim to:

U.S. Attorney’s Office, Southern District of New York      

86 Chambers Street, 3rd Floor                      

New York, New York 10007      

Attention: Chief, Civil Rights Unit

The case is being handled by the Office’s Civil Rights Unit in the Civil Division.  Assistant U.S. Attorney David J. Kennedy is in charge of the case.


Nicholas Biase
(212) 637-2600

Updated April 7, 2023

Civil Rights
Press Release Number: 23-126