Thursday, August 27, 2015

Really Important Housing Accessibility Case Settlement

This item reports on a housing accessibility lawsuit in Federal Court in NY.  The settlement is exciting because:

1. It shoud result in architects and developers paying more attention to accessibility at design stages.

2. It creates a fund to be accessed by people who need changes related to housing accessibility.

The lawsuit stemmed from a complaint FHJC received from Ms. Vilchez and the results of a FHJC testing investigation that identified multiple barriers to accessibility at Powell Cove Estates and Overlook Pointe. The investigation found inadequate wheelchair access throughout the residential developments including, but not limited to, thresholds for front and patio doors were too high, interior doors were too narrow, thermostats were mounted too high, electrical outlets were mounted too low, and ground floor unit driveways were too steep for someone using a wheelchair. Furthermore, because of the architectural barriers, Ms. Vilchez was unable to leave her home or traverse the residential development without the assistance of another person.

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