HUNTSVILLE, ALABAMA- On December 12, 2023, Relman Colfax filed a civil rights lawsuit on behalf of an Alabama-area couple against national homebuilder Lennar Homes and Alabama-based developer Breland Companies. The lawsuit, filed in the U.S. District Court for the Northern District of Alabama, alleges that Lennar and Breland discriminate against people with disabilities by designing and constructing a development with approximately 130 homes that did not comply with access requirements in the Fair Housing Act and the Americans with Disabilities Act.
The couple is seeking to purchase a home in the Madison County, Alabama area that is accessible to them because of the wife’s disabilities that significantly limit her mobility and vision and require her to use a rollator walker. The couple currently lives in an apartment rental unit in Madison, Alabama; they are trying to purchase a home in the area that meets the basic accessibility requirements mandated by federal law. The couple has been searching for a home in the area for over three years, but they have been unable to find one that is accessible for people with disabilities.
The couple identified single-story townhomes for sale at Lennar Homes’ still-under-construction Clift Farm development, which Breland developed, but when they visited the property, they discovered significant accessibility problems at these townhomes and in the development’s common areas. The violations of legal requirements in the civil rights laws included steps and inaccessible slopes leading to the front doors, inaccessible door hardware, and narrow interior doors that would make it impossible for a person using a mobility aid to move throughout the home.
Based in Miami, Florida, Lennar is one of the country’s largest developers, with a significant presence in Alabama. The particular design challenged in the lawsuit has four or more single story townhouses that are connected by common walls. In Alabama alone, Lennar has developed eleven communities with units that don’t comply with federal accessibility mandates. Breland designed Clift Farm and other properties with a similar design and sold its housing development portfolio to Lennar in 2021.
The Relman Colfax litigation team includes Tara Ramchandani, Sara Pratt, Emily Curran, and Valerie Comenencia Ortiz, with paralegal assistance from Miriam Farah.
A copy of the complaint is attached here.