Monday, December 5, 2016

Ridgeland apartments settle with HUD

The Justice Department issued the following statement:

MISSISSIPPI DEVELOPERS AGREE TO SETTLE HOUSING DISCRIMINATION LAWSUIT



WASHINGTON – The Justice Department announced today that the developers of six multi-family housing complexes in southern Mississippi have agreed to pay $350,000 to settle claims that they violated the Fair Housing Act and the Americans with Disabilities Act by building apartment complexes that were inaccessible to persons with disabilities.  As part of the settlement, the defendants also agreed to make substantial retrofits to remove accessibility barriers at the six complexes, which have nearly 500 covered units.



Under the settlement, which was approved late Friday by the U.S. District Court for the Southern District of Mississippi, Mississippi-based developers Ike W. Thrash, Dawn Properties Inc., Southern Cross Construction Company Inc. and other affiliated companies will pay all costs related to the retrofits, $250,000 to compensate 25 individuals harmed by the inaccessible housing and $100,000 in civil penalties.  The defendants will undergo training, ensure that any future construction complies with federal accessibility laws and make periodic reports to the department.




“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.”



“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.”



“When housing fails to meet the Fair Housing Act’s design and construction requirements it further limits the type of housing persons with disabilities need the most,” said Gustavo Velasquez, Assistant Secretary for Fair Housing and Equal Opportunity at the Department of Housing and Urban Development.  “Hopefully today’s action will help developers to better understand the importance of meeting their obligation to comply with the law.”

    

The department filed the lawsuit in May 2014, after conducting an independent investigation of a referral of complaints from the Department of Housing and Urban Development.  Trial was scheduled to begin on Jan. 3, 2017.  Under the settlement, the defendants will make retrofits, including eliminating steps; making bathrooms more usable; providing accessible curb ramps and parking; and providing accessible walks to site amenities such as the clubhouses, pools and mailboxes, at the following Mississippi complexes:



·       The Beach Club Apartments (Long Beach)

·       The Belmont Apartments (Ocean Springs)

·       The Grand Biscayne Apartments (Biloxi)

·       The Belmont Apartments (Hattiesburg)

·       The Lexington Apartments (Ridgeland)

·       Inn by the Sea Condominiums (Pass Christian)



The Fair Housing Act prohibits discrimination in housing based on disability, race, color, religion, national origin, sex and familial status.  Among other things, the Fair Housing Act requires all multifamily housing constructed after March 13, 1991, to have basic accessibility features, including accessible routes without steps to all ground floor units and units accessible to wheelchair users and others with disabilities.  The Americans with Disabilities Act requires, among other things, that places of public accommodation, such as rental offices at multifamily housing complexes designed and constructed for first occupancy after Jan. 26, 1993, be accessible to persons with disabilities. 


More information about the Civil Rights Division and the laws it enforces is available at www.justice.gov/crt.  Individuals who believe that they may have been victims of housing discrimination can call the Justice Department at 1-800-896-7743, e-mail the Justice Department at fairhousing@usdoj.gov or contact the Department of Housing and Urban Development at 1-800-669-9777 or through its website at http://portal.hud.gov/hudportal/HUD?src=/program_offices/fair_housing_equal_opp.

7 comments:

Anonymous said...

Probably a good settlement for the defendants, given that the upcoming administration won't be caring too much about housing-law violations, etc.

Anonymous said...

"Upcoming administration"? Who might THAT be? Word on the skreet are that Steen will the next mayor, if he's not in jail with Rudy.

Anonymous said...

I'm pretty sure 3:52 meant Trump's proposed head of HUD, Dr. Ben Carson, whose only qualifications to run a housing agency is that he regularly watches The Property Brothers.

Anonymous said...

7:58, hello bedwetter.

Anonymous said...

So are we supposed to keep building chain hotels and sell them after 5 years to Indian and Pakistani immigrants so they can run "weekly" rentals when all they amount to be are low housing? So, next time you see that new hotel going in close to your neighborhood think about it. It's only a few years before it's sold and converted

Anonymous said...

10:05 pm Would hire a lawyer to do brain surgery on his kid and believed Pizzagate.
Competence and experience isn't relevant to the incompetent and inexperienced who want to think they know it all.

Anonymous said...

@ 5:10am

That has been the trend. Hate to sound like a bigot, but 95% of the gas stations, convenient stores, and motels in Jackson are owned by immigrants who could care less about the property and no one holds them accountable for the aesthetics/upkeep of the property.

None of them live in Jackson, how do they benefit the community from which they profit?

Should Miss. tax internet sales?

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Trollfest '07 was such a success that Jackson Jambalaya will once again host Trollfest '09. Catch this great event which will leave NE Jackson & Fondren in flames. Othor Cain and his band, The Black Power Structure headline the night while Sonjay Poontang returns for an encore performance. Former Frank Melton bodyguard Marcus Wright makes his premier appearance at Trollfest singing "I'm a Sweet Transvestite" from "The Rocky Horror Picture Show." Kamikaze will sing his new hit, “How I sold out to da Man.” Robbie Bell again performs: “Mamas, don't let your babies grow up to be Bells” and “Any friend of Ed Peters is a friend of mine”. After the show, Ms. Bell will autograph copies of her mug shot photos. In a salute to “Dancing with the Stars”, Ms. Bell and Hinds County District Attorney Robert Smith will dance the Wango Tango.

Wrestling returns, except this time it will be a Battle Royal with Othor Cain, Ben Allen, Kim Wade, Haley Fisackerly, Alan Lange, and “Big Cat” Donna Ladd all in the ring at the same time. The Battle Royal will be in a steel cage, no time limit, no referee, and the losers must leave town. Marshand Crisler will be the honorary referee (as it gives him a title without actually having to do anything).


Meet KIM Waaaaaade at the Entergy Tent. For five pesos, Kim will sell you a chance to win a deed to a crack house on Ridgeway Street stuffed in the Howard Industries pinata. Don't worry if the pinata is beaten to shreds, as Mr. Wade has Jose, Emmanuel, and Carlos, all illegal immigrants, available as replacements for the it. Upon leaving the Entergy tent, fig leaves will be available in case Entergy literally takes everything you have as part of its Trollfest ticket price adjustment charge.

Donna Ladd of The Jackson Free Press will give several classes on learning how to write. Smearing, writing without factchecking, and reporting only one side of a story will be covered. A donation to pay their taxes will be accepted and she will be signing copies of their former federal tax liens. Ms. Ladd will give a dramatic reading of her two award-winning essays (They received The Jackson Free Press "Best Of" awards.) "Why everything is always about me" and "Why I cover murders better than anyone else in Jackson".

In the spirit of helping those who are less fortunate, Trollfest '09 adopts a cause for which a portion of the proceeds and donations will be donated: Keeping Frank Melton in his home. The “Keep Frank Melton From Being Homeless” booth will sell chances for five dollars to pin the tail on the jackass. John Reeves has graciously volunteered to be the jackass for this honorable excursion into saving Frank's ass. What's an ass between two friends after all? If Mr. Reeves is unable to um, perform, Speaker Billy McCoy has also volunteered as when the word “jackass” was mentioned he immediately ran as fast as he could to sign up.


In order to help clean up the legal profession, Adam Kilgore of the Mississippi Bar will be giving away free, round-trip plane tickets to the North Pole where they keep their bar complaint forms (which are NOT available online). If you don't want to go to the North Pole, you can enjoy Brant Brantley's (of the Mississippi Commission on Judicial Performance) free guided tours of the quicksand field over by High Street where all complaints against judges disappear. If for some reason you are unable to control yourself, never fear; Judge Houston Patton will operate his jail where no lawyers are needed or allowed as you just sit there for minutes... hours.... months...years until he decides he is tired of you sitting in his jail. Do not think Judge Patton is a bad judge however as he plans to serve free Mad Dog 20/20 to all inmates.

Trollfest '09 is a pet-friendly event as well. Feel free to bring your dog with you and do not worry if your pet gets hungry, as employees of the Jackson Zoo will be on hand to provide some of their animals as food when it gets to be feeding time for your little loved one.

Relax at the Fox News Tent. Since there are only three blonde reporters in Jackson (being blonde is a requirement for working at Fox News), Megan and Kathryn from WAPT and Wendy from WLBT will be on loan to Fox. To gain admittance to the VIP section, bring either your Republican Party ID card or a Rebel Flag. Bringing both and a torn-up Obama yard sign will entitle you to free drinks served by Megan, Wendy, and Kathryn. Get your tickets now. Since this is an event for trolls, no ID is required. Just bring the hate. Bring the family, Trollfest '09 is for EVERYONE!!!

This is definitely a Beaver production.


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Trollfest '07

Jackson Jambalaya is the home of Trollfest '07. Catch this great event which promises to leave NE Jackson & Fondren in flames. Sonjay Poontang and his band headline the night with a special steel cage, no time limit "loser must leave town" bout between Alan Lange and "Big Cat"Donna Ladd following afterwards. Kamikaze will perform his new song F*** Bush, he's still a _____. Did I mention there was no referee? Dr. Heddy Matthias and Lori Gregory will face off in the undercard dueling with dangling participles and other um, devices. Robbie Bell will perform Her two latest songs: My Best Friends are in the Media and Mama's, Don't Let Your Babies Grow up to be George Bell. Sid Salter of The Clarion-Ledger will host "Pin the Tail on the Trial Lawyer", sponsored by State Farm.

There will be a hugging booth where in exchange for your young son, Frank Melton will give you a loooong hug. Trollfest will have a dunking booth where Muhammed the terrorist will curse you to Allah as you try to hit a target that will drop him into a vat of pig grease. However, in the true spirit of Separate But Equal, Don Imus and someone from NE Jackson will also sit in the dunking booth for an equal amount of time. Tom Head will give a reading for two hours on why he can't figure out who the hell he is. Cliff Cargill will give lessons with his .80 caliber desert eagle, using Frank Melton photos as targets. Tackleberry will be on hand for an autograph session. KIM Waaaaaade will be passing out free titles and deeds to crackhouses formerly owned by The Wood Street Players.

If you get tired come relax at the Fox News Tent. To gain admittance to the VIP section, bring either your Republican Party ID card or a Rebel Flag. Bringing both will entitle you to free drinks.Get your tickets now. Since this is an event for trolls, no ID is required, just bring the hate. Bring the family, Trollfest '07 is for EVERYONE!!!

This is definitely a Beaver production.

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