WASHINGTON (Legal Newsline) — The U.S. Department of Justice announced April 13 that it has reached a disability discrimination settlement with the owners, builder, and designer of the Ashlynn Estates, a three-building dormitory-style property near Central Washington University in Ellensburg, Washington.

“The department is committed to ensuring that new multifamily housing—including housing designed for students—is accessible to persons with disabilities,” said John Gore, acting assistant attorney general of the Civil Rights Division. “This lawsuit and its resolution are just the latest steps in the Department of Justice’s efforts to ensure equal accessibility for persons with disabilities.”  

According to allegations, the defendants violated the Fair Housing Act by building the property with barriers that prohibit access to individuals who are disabled. The defendants agreed to fix the property, retrofitting it to include the proper modes of accessibility.

“The Fair Housing Act prohibits discrimination based on any statutorily-protected basis, including disability,” Joseph H.Harrington, U.S. attorney for the Eastern District of Washington, said in a statement. “The DOJ’s Civil Rights Division, HUD, and the U.S. Attorney’s Office are committed to vigorously pursuing enforcement of the rights guaranteed by the act. This settlement is an example of that commitment in the Eastern District of Washington and serves to promote equal access to multifamily housing for persons with disabilities.”

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