On November 9, 2023, Relman Colfax filed lawsuits in federal court against D.R. Horton and Lennar Corporation, two of the largest homebuilders in the nation. The lawsuits, filed in the U.S. District Court for the Western District of Texas, allege that D.R. Horton and Lennar discriminate against persons with disabilities, in violation of the federal and Texas Fair Housing Acts.
The federal complaints describe how both D.R. Horton and Lennar refuse to allow changes to the floor plans for their new construction, single family homes in order to add accessibility features. These reasonable modifications include installing grab bars in the bathroom, a roll-in shower, accessible routes from the garage door and back patio into the home, and doorframes wide enough for a wheelchair to pass through. As set forth in the complaint, the builders refused to allow the changes during construction even though the consumer proposed to pay for all costs associated with the modifications.
The lawsuit against Lennar is brought on behalf the Fair Housing Center of South Texas (FHCST), an organization dedicated to promoting fair housing and eliminating discriminatory housing practices in rental housing, real estate, mortgage lending, homeowners’ insurance, home appraisals, zoning, and land use. FHCST serves the residents of San Antonio, Bexar County, and 36 other counties in South Texas.
The lawsuit against D.R. Horton is brought on behalf of FHCST and three plaintiffs who requested to make changes to house floor plans to ensure that their family members with disabilities could use and enjoy their homes. D.R. Horton did not grant their requests and built the homes according to their standard plans. One Plaintiff continues to suffer today because the necessary modifications became much more expensive once the home was built and she cannot afford the changes post-construction. She cannot use and enjoy her home without the necessary accessibility features. Another Plaintiff spent over $10,000 to make some modifications that would have been much cheaper if done when the home was being built. Her father who lived with her in the home had needed these modifications to the bathroom and garage entrance into the home due his mobility impairments. But because they couldn’t make all of the necessary changes—such as widening doorways to allow him to pass from room to room with his walker—he had to live out the last days of his life unable to move freely around his home.
The Relman Colfax litigation team includes Reed Colfax, Zoila Hinson, Nick Abbott, and Emahunn Raheem Ali Campbell, with paralegal assistance from Emma Block.