The Justice Department has filed a disability discrimination lawsuit against a senior housing architectural design firm, as well as the former and current owners of 15 senior living communities in four states, for housing design failures.
J. Randolph Parry Architects PC, a Riverton, NJ-based architectural design firm that specializes in adaptive reuse and senior housing design, and 15 senior living communities are accused of violating the Fair Housing Act and the Americans with Disabilities Act by “failing to design and construct housing units and related facilities to make them accessible to people with disabilities.”
The lawsuit, filed Dec. 11 in the U.S. District Court for the Eastern District of Pennsylvania, alleges that at least 15 multifamily senior living properties have “significant accessibility barriers,” including inaccessible pedestrian routes to building entrances and amenities, inaccessible parking, door openings too narrow for wheelchairs, environmental controls too high or too low for individuals in wheelchairs, and inaccessible bathrooms and kitchens.
The 15 properties cited in the suit:
- Traditions of Hanover, Bethlehem, PA (independent living community)
- Traditions of Hershey, Palmyra, PA (independent living and assisted living)
- Chestnut Knoll, Boyertown, PA (assisted living and memory care)
- Arbour Square, Harleysville, PA (independent living, assisted living and memory care)
- Cedar Views Apartments, Philadelphia (independent living)
- The Birches, Newtown, PA (assisted living and memory care)
- Keystone Villa, Douglasville, PA (assisted living and memory care)
- Alcoeur Gardens, Brick Township, NH (memory care)
- Alcoeur Gardens, Toms River, NJ (memory care)
- Church Hill Village, Newtown, CT (assisted living and memory care)
- Heritage Green, Mechanicsville, VA (assisted living and memory care)
- Homestead, Hamilton Township, NJ (independent living, assisted living and memory care)
- The Villa Rafaella Addition, Pleasantville, NJ (assisted living)
- Woodbury Mews Colonial House, Woodbury, NJ (assisted living and memory care)
- Lifequest, Quakertown, PA (assisted living)
Assistant Attorney General Eric Dreiband of the Civil Rights Division called the violations a “flagrant disregard of federal law.”
The suit seeks an order requiring the properties to be brought into compliance with the FHA and ADA, monetary damages for residents impacted by the accessibility barriers, civil penalties, and prohibitions against designing or constructing inaccessible properties moving forward.
McKnight’s Senior Living contacted several owners and communities but had not heard back by the publication deadline.