Bryan Cohen Apr. 18, 2011, 1:39am
NEW YORK (Legal Newsline) - New York Attorney General Eric Schneiderman an agreement with a housing developer on Friday to ensure equal access to housing for people with disabilities.
The settlement agreement requires that Trammell Crow Residential, one of the nation's largest housing manufacturers, make significant retrofits to its 795 unit Atlantic Points Apartments in Suffolk County to ensure that those with disabilities have full use of the facilities. The developer must also pay $75,000 to compensate individuals who were harmed by inaccessible housing.
"Equal access to housing is a right guaranteed by law, and we must remain vigilant in removing barriers preventing equal access to housing for all New Yorkers," Schneiderman said. "No matter how big or powerful the developer, my office will enforce fair housing laws and ensure the most vulnerable among us, including those with disabilities, are protected."
Former New York Attorney General Andrew Cuomo brought the lawsuit against the developer in April 2010. The agreement requires retrofits to apartments and common areas in Atlantic Points Apartments, including mailboxes, pools, exercise facilities, kitchens, outlets and bathrooms in designated apartments. The modifications will be free of charge to the tenants.
Additionally, the developer must hire an approved consultant to conduct on-site inspections to determine that the retrofits have been completed as required by the agreement. Trammel Crow Residential must certify to the attorney general prior to the commencement of any future residential construction projects in New York that the project complies with requirements of accessibility under state and federal laws.
Trammel Crow Residential is also required to work with an independent expert to certify that future apartment complex construction is in appliance with New York state and federal accessibility laws.