Settlement: Architect Will Pay For Retrofit Of Properties Inaccessible To The Disabled


Eight senior living facilities that are inaccessible to the disabled will be retrofitted as part of a settlement between officials at the U.S. Justice Department and a New Jersey architecture firm.

According to a press release issued on Thursday, the owner of J. Randolph Parry Architects P.C. has agreed to settle a federal lawsuit alleging that it violated the Fair Housing Act and the Americans with Disabilities Act by failing to design and construct senior living facilities that are accessible to people with disabilities.

The retrofits will, among other things, make the kitchens and bathrooms at these properties more accessible and useable.

“The Justice Department is committed to vigorously enforcing the federal laws guaranteeing people with disabilities equal access to housing,” Assistant Attorney General Kristen Clarke of the Justice Department’s Civil Rights Division said in a statement.

Clarke said that “this settlement should serve as a reminder to architects and developers across the country that they cannot ignore federally-mandated accessibility requirements, including those that apply to housing for seniors.”

Parry is expected to pay $350,000 to fund retrofits at eight Pennsylvania properties, $75,000 to compensate individuals harmed by the inaccessible housing, and $25,000 to the government as a civil penalty to vindicate the public interest.

These properties were affected, according to officials:

  • Traditions of Hanover, Bethlehem, Pennsylvania
  • Chestnut Knoll, Boyertown, Pennsylvania
  • Keystone Villa, Douglasville, Pennsylvania
  • Arbour Square, Harleysville, Pennsylvania
  • Traditions of Hershey, Hershey, Pennsylvania
  • The Birches, Newtown, Pennsylvania
  • Cedar Views Apartments, Philadelphia, Pennsylvania
  • Lifequest Nursing Center Addition, Quakertown, Pennsylvania

According to the architecture firm’s website, they have won awards for their work in the past.

The about page for the company says it was founded in 1996 by John R.  Parry, Jr.

“J. Randolph Parry Architects, PC is an award-winning architectural design firm with a passion for adaptive reuse, and a specialty in residential and senior housing design,” the website says. “The firm’s staff of registered architects, designers, Revit drafters, and graphic artists is thoroughly experienced in all phases of architectural design and project development.”

The firm has memberships with the National Council of Architectural Registration Boards, American Institute of Architects, American Society of Interior Designers, US Green Building Council, National Association of Home Builders – Council on Senior Housing, and the Urban Land Institute.

The consent order was approved by the U.S. District Court for the Eastern District of Pennsylvania.

The department previously resolved its claims against defendant LifeQuest Nursing Center, the developer and owner of one of the properties. The department’s lawsuit against the owners of other properties will continue and is unaffected by these settlements.

Individuals who believe they or someone they know may have had difficulties because of the inaccessible conditions at any of these properties should send an email to the Justice Department at [email protected] or leave a message at 1-833-591-0291 and select option numbers 1-4-1.

The Justice Department’s Housing Discrimination tip line is 1-833-591-0291 and people can also submit a report online.

Individuals may also report such discrimination by contacting HUD at 1-800-669-9777 or by filing a complaint online.   

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