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Suit alleges Shockoe Valley View Apartments discriminates against the disabled

On Wednesday, Housing Opportunities Made Equal of Virginia, Inc. (HOME) and the National Fair Housing Alliance (NFHA) in Washington, D.C. filed a federal housing discrimination suit against Hunt Investments, LLC and other entities alleging discrimination against people with disabilities failure to design and construct Shockoe Valley View Apartments at at Cedar and Mosby Streets in accordance with the disability requirements under the federal Fair Housing Act.

The complaint alleges that Shockoe Valley View Apartments presents clear barriers for people who use wheelchairs or have other mobility impairments. According to the complaint, the kitchen design makes it challenging for someone in a wheelchair to cook on the stove or to open the refrigerator, the layout of the bathrooms makes it impossible for someone in a wheelchair to use the sink or close the door, pathways to some of the first-floor apartments have one or more steps and/or thresholds into their only entrances, and there are overly narrow and steep routes throughout the property.

The Richmond Free Press has a post on this, in which they quote Ronald Hunt, head of Genesis properties, calling the suit “absurd” and saying that the apartments comply with both the building code and the Fair Housing Act.


Eric S. Huffstutler 10/25/2014 at 5:02 PM

There was a piece that ran a few years back in Style Weekly in which someone wheelchair bound was discriminated against and even asked to leave businesses that were not handicap friendly. With newly built developments, are there codes now in place about building to accommodate wheelchairs and walkers?

Eric S. Huffstutler 10/25/2014 at 6:18 PM

Looking over the article it seems that they are doing what is supposed to be done on a “minimal” basis and offer to alter the apartment for handicap renters if they run out of the one built that way. How can you alter without major rework and would they actually do it if challenged?

crd 10/25/2014 at 9:21 PM

@1 and 2, if you follow the link in the article here to the Free Press, on the second page of the Free Press article you will find comments from the Richmond building commissioner, Doug Murrow. He addresses your questions.

Ben 10/25/2014 at 9:40 PM

This lawsuit’s a big waste of time. As long as they have the required number of ADA accessible units they’re fine, and only those units along with the public areas need to be fully accessible.

Mike 10/26/2014 at 8:58 AM

if the building has an elevator, all of the units in the building must be accessible.

Mike 10/26/2014 at 8:59 AM Reply
Leslie 10/26/2014 at 4:27 PM

I am surprised how many businesses and/or office buildings are impossible for those of us in scooters. On a lighter note, I attended my daughter’s rehearsal dinner at the John Marshall and the staff went out of their way to accommodate me and had all the elevators and ramps to accommodate me. The two security guards on staff were amazing and so very nice.


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