The companies, which have designed, built, owned, and managed 14 apartment complexes in central and northern Indiana have agreed to make improvements to the residential property and pay more than $ 500,000 to respond to a complaint from the Fair Housing Center of Central Indiana for alleged violations of state regulations to settle accessibility requirements.
Elwood Real Equities Inc., Construction Management & Design Inc., Alan R. Collins, Chris L. Collins, Property Management & Maintenance LLC, JSL LLC, JSL & Associates, David Wells and James Lenczowski have agreed to provide access for people with disabilities to expand in their residential complexes.
Defendants will set up a $ 280,000 Modification Fund to pay for the redevelopment of each unit or the exterior of the property. In addition, defendants are paying US $ 275,000 to reimburse FHCCI for attorney fees, costs, and legal costs.
Defendant’s properties included in the settlement are Bison Ridge Estates (Elwood); Briar Ridge Apartments and Villas, Tippe River Downs, Lakeland Villa Apartments (Warsaw); Briarwood Apartments and Villas (LaPorte); Long Beach Cove Mansions (Michigan City); Main Street Center (Culver); Hi-Tec Apartments, Parkview Place / Plymouth Senior Citizens’ Facilities, Plum Street Villas (Plymouth); Prairie Ridge Apartments (New Carlisle); Bremen Park Apartments (Bremen); Quail Ridge Apartments (Columbia City); and Lakeview Apartments (Lakeville).
The comparison includes extensive retrofitting and renovation measures in all public and shared areas of all properties involved, including the provision of accessible paths to each villa unit, the rental office and the facilities around the properties; Replacing external door fittings on villa entrance doors; Adding more ramps and curb ramps and replacing sidewalks with steep slopes; and providing a reasonable number of accessible parking spaces.
Adaptations to the individual needs of tenants could include adding handholds, changing door fittings, lowering thresholds or making wash basins more accessible, as well as adding ramps.
During a two-year investigation, FHCCI found what the nonprofit allegedly violated the accessibility requirements of the Fair Housing Amendments Act and the Americans with Disabilities Act.
Amy Nelson, executive director of FHCCI, pointed out that the Fair Housing Amendments Act, signed by President Ronald Reagan, protects people with disabilities from discrimination in housing.
“The law required that most newly built apartment buildings have basic accessible features so that people with disabilities can access housing like people without disabilities,” Nelson said in a press release. “However, we still see violations of this important law to this day. We look forward to working with respondents to expand much-needed access, especially in our rural areas. “
Attorneys who represented FHCCI in enforcement were Sara Pratt of Relman Colfax PLLC and Tom Crishon of Indiana Disability Rights.
More information about FHCCI v. Property Management & Maintenance, LLC (PMM) et al. can be found online.
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