DOJ sues West Virginia housing developer

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Accessible Housing

The Department of Justice filed a lawsuit in federal court against Biafora’s Inc. on September 30, accusing the West Virginia-based developer of constructing twenty three properties in West Virginia and Pennsylvania that do not meet disability accessibility standards.

“For over two decades, the Fair Housing Act and (the Americans with Disabilities Act) have required those who design and build multifamily housing complexes to make them accessible to persons with disabilities,” said Molly Moran, acting assistant attorney general for the DOJ’s Civil Rights Division, in a news release. “Residential complexes built with steps but without ramps or other means of access deny Americans with disabilities the basic right to equal housing opportunities.”

The 18-page complaint lists a range of architectural violations.

Specifically, it states that many of the properties lack elevators or contain non-existent or excessively sloped pedestrian entrances. Some of the facilities failed to include an appropriate number of parking spaces. Inside the facilities, the DOJ argues that many of the rooms have insufficient maneuvering space, or otherwise inaccessible bathrooms or kitchens.

The suit also names Biafora’s affiliates: Falconcrest LLC, Five Star Holdings LLC, Metro Rentals LLC, Metro Rentals II LLC, RDR Properties LLC, RDR Properties II LLC, The Gables LLC, The Woodlands LLC, 3BT LLC, and CMC Company LLC.