Last week the Fair Housing Center of Central Indiana (FHCCI) and Indiana Protection and Advocacy Services (IPAS) filed two federal lawsuits alleging disability discrimination in two different housing settings. One case was filed against the Grandville Cooperative, Inc. and Kirkpatrick Management Co. Inc. of Indianapolis, Indiana. The second was filed against United Church Residences of Indianapolis, Indiana, Inc., and United Church Homes, Inc., owners of Capitol Station apartments in Indianapolis, Indiana.
The complaint against Grandville Cooperative, Inc. and Kirkpatrick Management Co. Inc. alleges that the defendants refused to rent to a family that included a person with disabilities stating that “…it will be a liability to offer [the person with a disability] a unit that is not accommodating to everyone in the household.” After receiving contact from the family expressing their concerns about their rights, the FHCCI conducted an investigation and found evidence of discrimination due to disability in violation of fair housing laws.
The suit against United Church Residences of Indianapolis, Indiana, Inc., and United Church Homes, Inc. alleges that the defendants did not take timely action to repair the only elevator in an apartment building which housed residents age 62 years or older. Many residents of Capitol Station had mobility issues which were readily apparent, for whom taking the stairs was dangerous or impossible. According to the complaint, that Capitol Station was without a working elevator for five and a half weeks in August and September 2015 resulting in harm to residents with disabilities. After being contacted by residents about the elevator outage, the FHCCI conducted an investigation. The investigation shows that Capitol Station is a building with 48 apartments on three floors serviced by one elevator and a staircase with 62 steps. The lawsuit alleges that owners and management failed to make repairs in a timely fashion, refused to provide reasonable accommodations to residents with disabilities, resulting in the apartments becoming inaccessible, and caused the residents “physical harm, humiliation and emotional stress.”
The cases have been filed in the US District Court, Southern District of Indiana. A copy of the filed complaint against Grandville Cooperative, Inc. and Kirkpatrick Management Co. Inc. can be foundhere. The complaint against United Church Residences of Indianapolis, Indiana, Inc., and United Church Homes, Inc. is available here.
INARF applauds FHCCI and IPAS for their efforts to ensure access to fair housing opportunities for individuals with disabilities. INARF has invited Melissa Keyes, Legal Director of Indiana Protection and Advocacy Services, to speak about IPAS’ recent activities, changes in their investigation process, and their resources available to consumer and providers during the General Session at Thursday’s Quarterly Professional Interest Section Meeting.