Relman Colfax has settled disability discrimination litigation against Clover Construction Management, Inc. and related entities, on behalf of twelve fair housing organizations and covering 50 multi-family housing properties. The properties are located in New York, Pennsylvania, Ohio, Indiana, Kentucky and Missouri.
Filed on March 22, 2022, the lawsuit alleged that defendants failed to design and construct housing that is accessible to persons with disabilities, in violation of fair housing laws. In their investigations, plaintiffs uncovered widespread and conspicuous violations of the Fair Housing Act’s accessibility requirements at dozens of senior properties owned or developed by defendants under the name Clover Group in New York, Ohio, Pennsylvania, and Indiana. All properties are advertised as “Senior Apartment Communities” for individuals over the age of 55 and as “fully handicap accessible.”
The value of the settlement is at least $7.12 million. Defendants will make exterior renovations at all fifty properties to increase accessibility that are projected to cost at least $3 million, such as installing accessible curb cuts, creating accessible routes to exterior doors and making mailboxes available in accessible locations. An additional $3.25M will be provided as remediation funds for residents who request modifications providing greater accessibility on the interior of units, such as the addition of grab bars in bathrooms, wall-hung sinks, accessible patio doors and lowered or heightened countertops in kitchens.
The Plaintiffs in the lawsuit included seven fair housing organizations: CNY Fair Housing, Inc., Housing Opportunities Made Equal of Buffalo, Fair Housing Center for Rights & Research of Cleveland, The Fair Housing Center of Toledo, Housing Opportunities Made Equal of Greater Cincinnati, Fair Housing Center of Central Indiana, and the Fair Housing Partnership of Greater Pittsburgh. Included in the settlement was relief for five additional fair housing organizations that have Clover properties in their service areas. All twelve of the organizations received compensation as part of the settlement.
A copy of the settlement is available here.
The Relman Colfax litigation team included Sara Pratt, Reed Colfax, and Soohyun Choi, with paralegal assistance from Margaret Moran, Brianna Terrell, and Reed Canaan. Our co-counsel were Conor Kirchner and Casey Weismann-Vermeulen of CNY Fair Housing, Inc.