The Fair Housing Center of Central Indiana on Tuesday joined six other such groups from around the country to file a federal lawsuit against real estate company Clover Group, FHCCI announced.
The not-for-profits allege the New York State-based business violated federal accessibility requirements at 38 properties in Indiana, New York, Ohio and Pennsylvania. FHCCI said the senior living facilities had inaccessible bathrooms, mailboxes, parking spaces and routes to units and public common use areas.
“Even with the passing of the fair housing accessibility amendments over 30 years ago, we still see blatant violations of disability discrimination throughout Indiana,” said Brady Ripperger, FHCCI’s deputy director of administration and advocacy, in a written statement. “Persons with disabilities deserve basic, accessible housing, free from inaccessibility and discrimination.”
The Indiana properties include Pleasant Run Senior Apartments, 4701 Todd Road., Indianapolis; Wynbrooke Senior Apartments, 10318 E. County Road 200 N., Indianapolis; and Gardens on Gateway Senior Apartments in McCordsville.
Clover Group did not immediately return a request for comment.
Congress approved multifamily housing design and construction accessibility requirements in 1988 as part of the Fair Housing Amendments Act for properties opening in or after March 1991.
The technical requirements cover building and unit entrances, doors, hallways, public and common areas, environmental controls, kitchens, bathrooms and other elements, according to FHCCI.
“According the 2020 U.S. Census data, approximately 13.7% of Hoosiers have some form of disability. These numbers are likely underreported and rising as people age and are able to live longer,” said Executive Director Amy Nelson. “We need to make sure that each housing unit required to meet accessibility requirements does so to ensure people can age in place in the housing of their choice.”
The lawsuit was filed in the U.S. District Court for the Northern District of New York Syracuse Division.
The six other organizations are the Fair Housing Center for Rights & Research Inc. in Cleveland, Ohio; Housing Opportunities Made Equal of Greater Cincinnati Inc. in Ohio; the Toledo Fair Housing Center in Ohio; the CNY Fair Housing Council Inc. in Syracuse, New York; Housing Opportunities Made Equal of Buffalo Inc. in New York; and the Fair Housing Partnership of Greater Pittsburgh Inc. in Pennsylvania.