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 Disabilities Act.

 

“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."

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