Justice Department Resolves Disability Discrimination Claim Against Developer Of Chapel Springs Senior Apartments.

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Credit: Van Fisher/Patch

PERRY HALL - Maryland-based developer Stavrou Associates Inc. have agreed to pay $185,000 to settle claims that they violated the Fair Housing Act (FHA) and the Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA).

According to the Department of Justice, the Developer has built 11 multi-family-housing units which did not include the required accessibility features for people with disabilities. One of these buildings is the Chapel Springs Senior Apartments in Perry Hall.

In a statement about the case, Assistant Attorney General Kristen Clarke of the Justice Department’s Civil Rights Division stated her dedication to ensuring equal access for those with disabilities.

“The Justice Department is committed to ensuring that multifamily housing properties are accessible to people with disabilities,” she said. “When the retrofits required by our settlement are completed, people with disabilities will have equal access to more than 1,000 residential units in Maryland.”

Chapel Hill Senior Apartments is specifically designated as housing for senior citizens and was not compliant with ADA and FHA regulations.

The U.S. Attorney General for Maryland, Erek L. Barron, stated “The requirement that housing complexes be built with accessible features for people with disabilities is not new,” he said. “Developers must include accessible features, and we will hold accountable those who do not.”

The settlement states that the defendant will, among other things, replace steeply-sloped walkways to help residents reach units, amenities, mailboxes, and entrances. They will also remove obstacles from pedestrian pathways, widen doorways and modify bathrooms and kitchens so they are accessible for individuals who use wheelchairs.

Stavrou Associates will be responsible for “all costs related to the retrofits.” They will additionally pay $175,000 into a settlement fund to compensate individuals harmed by the inaccessible housing and civil penalties of $10,000 to the government.

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