In the federal government’s largest-ever settlement related to disability housing discrimination, a builder that’s operated in over two dozen states is set to pay more than $10 million.
The deal comes in a lawsuit brought by the U.S. Department of Justice against Texas-based JPI Construction L.P. in which federal officials alleged that the company failed to design and construct several multifamily housing complexes to accommodate people with disabilities.
Under the Fair Housing Act and the Americans with Disabilities Act, builders are required to make multifamily housing accessible to those with disabilities. The Justice Department alleged that JPI did not meet those requirements at 32 of its properties.
In the agreement announced this week, JPI will pay $10.25 million toward a fund to retrofit inaccessible properties to meet federal standards. The company has also agreed to pay a $250,000 civil penalty.
“Equal access to housing for persons with disabilities is an important right protected by federal law,” said U.S. Attorney for the Northern District of Texas Sarah R. Saldaña. “This settlement will help eliminate barriers and send a clear message that disability discrimination will not be tolerated.”
JPI and its affiliates have built 210 multifamily properties in 26 states and the District of Columbia since 1991.