Iowa Community to Make Design & Construction Retrofits

October 24, 2013
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The Iowa Civil Rights Commission recently announced a settlement with the owner, builder, architect, and management company of a multifamily housing complex after its testing revealed alleged violations of design and construction accessibility requirements under federal and state law.

The community consists of four apartment buildings, a community building, tenant and visitor parking, and outside recreation areas. Each apartment building houses 30 units, with 10 units on each of the three stories.

The commission’s investigation included an extensive inspection of the first-floor units to determine whether they were built in compliance with federal and state design and construction requirements. According to the commission, its inspection uncovered 280 total instances of 13 different types of deficiencies within the 40 ground-floor units, while 45 total instances of seven types of deficiencies were uncovered in the common and public access areas. The total number of alleged deficiencies at the entire complex was 325.

In a settlement, the community owner, management company, and others involved in its design, construction, and management agreed to implement fixes and retrofits within a specified time period.

“For over 20 years the design and construction requirements of the Fair Housing Act and the Iowa Civil Rights Act have mandated specific accessibility features in covered multifamily dwellings,” Executive Director Beth Townsend said in a statement. “While, it is unfortunate that these design and construction deficiencies were not addressed at the blueprint or development stage, the Respondents fully cooperated with the investigation and readily agreed to make the necessary retrofits in a timely manner. The settlement reached in this case benefits all Iowans, especially those with disabilities who need accessible housing.”

For a complete description of the findings and fixes, visit the commission’s Web site at https://icrc.iowa.gov.

Source: Iowa Civil Rights Commission