MARYLAND (DC News Now) — The United States Attorney for the District of Maryland announced Monday that it had reached a settlement in a case involving several housing complexes in the state that did not have required accessibility.
A release from the Maryland U.S. Attorney’s Office said that the settlement was with Humphrey Stavrou Associates, Inc. and involved six multi-family housing complexes across the state.
The lawsuit, which was filed in September of 2022, addressed 17 properties across the state in total. It claimed that the companies violated the Fair Housing Act (FHA) and the Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA) and did not provide required accessibility in the buildings.
Prosecutors said that the properties got assistance from the federal Low-Income Housing Tax Credit program and the HOME Investment Partnerships Program during construction. Some of the properties were specifically marketed to be senior housing.
As part of the settlement, Humphrey Stavrou Associates, Inc. agreed to pay $475,000 and make “extensive retrofits” at the six properties it built. The company still owns three properties and agreed to deposit $410,000 in an account to retrofit the three properties that it sold.
The six buildings involved in the settlement announced Monday were:
- Pin Oak Village in Bowie, Md.
- Woodland Creek Apartments in Fort Washington, Md.
- Woodside Village Apartments in Fort Washington, Md.
- Acclaim at Lake Largo in Largo, Md.
- Randolph Village Senior Apartments in Silver Spring, Md.
- Vistas at Lake Largo in Upper Marlboro, Md.
The release said that the company will have to “replace steeply-sloped walkways, widen doorways, and modify bathrooms so they are accessible for individuals who use wheelchairs” among other things. The defendants also have to get training about the FHA and the ADA.
“When the retrofits required by these settlements are completed, people with disabilities will have equal access to 1,300 more residential units in Maryland. The Justice Department remains committed to ensuring that apartment complexes are accessible to people with disabilities,” Assistant Attorney General Kristen Clarke of the Justice Department’s Civil Rights Division said in the release.
The Maryland U.S. Attorney’s Office said that it had previously resolved part of the lawsuit with developer Stavrou Associates, Inc. in November of 2022. The company agreed to pay $185,000 to settle after claims that it failed to build 11 complexes with required accessibility features.