GULFPORT, Miss. (Legal Newsline) – The U.S. Department of
Justice announced Dec. 5 that a group of development companies responsible for
six multi-family housing complexes in southern Mississippi will pay $350,000
after allegations of violating the Fair Housing Act and the Americans with
“Housing impacts critical areas of
one’s daily life,” said Principal Deputy Assistant Attorney General Vanita Gupta, head of the Civil Rights
Division. “This comprehensive
settlement demonstrates the Justice Department’s commitment to
protecting the rights of persons with disabilities to reside in and visit the
housing of their choice.”
The defendants in the case are Ike W. Thrash, Dawn
Properties Inc., Southern Cross Construction Co. Inc. and other affiliated
companies. According to allegations, these developers violated the law at the
Beach Club Apartments in Long Beach, the Belmont Apartments in Ocean Springs,
the Grand Biscayne Apartments in Biloxi, the Belmont Apartments in Hattiesburg,
the Lexington Apartments in Ridgeland and Inn by the Sea Condominiums in Pass
Christian by making them inaccessible to the disabled in their construction.
“Barriers created by inaccessible
housing and public accommodations deny the fundamental protection afforded by
the Fair Housing Act,” said U.S. Attorney Gregory K.
Davis of the Southern District of Mississippi.
“The retrofits required by this agreement will provide
accessible housing to people with disabilities in several key commercial areas
of the Southern District of Mississippi."