CLEVELAND (Legal Newsline) – Dean Windham and Milton Studer, a real estate developer and an architect in Ohio, along with companies they owned and controlled, will pay $160,000 after allegations of violating the Fair Housing Act, the Justice Department announced.

The defendants allegedly violated the act by designing and constructing two neighboring condominium complexes in Hartville, Ohio, that included features making them inaccessible to persons with disabilities.

“This settlement makes clear that those who design and build multifamily housing must comply with the accessibility provisions of the Fair Housing Act,” Principal Deputy Assistant Attorney General Vanita Gupta, head of the Justice Department’s Civil Rights Division, said. “We will continue to protect the rights of people with disabilities to live in their communities without facing barriers like inaccessible housing.”

The defendants will pay $100,000 to current condominium owners at the complex who want to make modifications to their units that benefit accessibility. They will also pay the Tri-County Center for Independent Living $10,000 and the Fair Housing Advocates Association $10,000. Finally, they will pay $40,000 in civil penalties.

“Accessible housing benefits the entire community,” Acting U.S. Attorney Carole S. Rendon of the Northern District of Ohio said. “It provides living options for people with mobility impairments, and helps ensure that our older residents can stay in their homes as long as possible. The Department of Justice is committed to enforcing the laws which protect this important right.”

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