Monday, June 10, 2013

Big Apple Housing Authority To Cough Up $70K, Agrees To Create, Maintain Accessible Apartment Building Front Entrance Ramp As Part Of Fair Housing/Disability-Discrimination Suit Settlement

From a recent press release from the Fair Housing Justice Center:

  • Federal District Judge William H. Pauley approved a settlement in May 2013 between three public housing tenants with disabilities and the New York City Housing Authority (NYCHA).

    The settlement resolves a lawsuit filed in August 2012 by tenants with mobility impairments who reside at the Fulton Houses located in the Chelsea area of Manhattan. The lawsuit alleged that the plaintiffs were discriminated against based on disability in violation of the Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA), the Rehabilitation Act and the New York City Human Rights Law.

    In the complaint, plaintiffs asserted that the building they reside in lacked an accessible entrance. The complaint alleged that a ramp leading to the entrance of the building was too steep and dangerous and that it prevented tenants with disabilities from safely leaving or entering the building. The plaintiffs alleged that repeated requests were made for a reasonable modification of the entrance over many years and NYCHA was largely unresponsive.

    The Fair Housing Justice Center (FHJC) investigated a complaint received from one of the tenants by obtaining a report from an FHJC cooperating architect. After documenting the inaccessible entrance to the building, the FHJC assisted the tenant to obtain legal counsel.

    The settlement requires that NYCHA create and maintain an accessible ramp at the front entrance of the building at 418 W. 17th Street within 120 days of the order and an architectural design expert retained by the plaintiffs will evaluate the ramp to confirm compliance.

    Also, the agreement provides that the staff at NYCHA’s Fulton Houses development will participate in disability discrimination training. Finally, NYCHA agreed to pay a total of $70,000 to cover damages for three tenants and attorney’s fees. The tenants were represented by Kevin M. Cremin and Orier Okumakpeyi with MFY Legal Services, Inc.
For the press release, see Tenants Resolve Disability Discrimination Lawsuit (NYCHA To Modify Building Entrance & Pay $70K To Settle Case).

No comments: