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Indianapolis – The Indiana Civil Rights Commission’s (ICRC) Deputy Director, Akia Haynes, announced today that there is probable cause to believe that an Indianapolis apartment complex, Crestwood Village South, violated the fair housing laws when they denied a disabled tenant’s request for a reasonable accommodation as well as subjected her to different terms and conditions.
An investigation stemming from the May 1, 2013 Complaint found that the Complaining party was denied complimentary transportation services offered by the complex because they could not accommodate her wheelchair. The investigation also found that Crestwood Village South Apartments made no attempt to provide the Complainant access to another mode of transportation, despite her request for an accommodation.
“In this case, the Complainant wished to use the complimentary transportation services provided by the apartment complex,” said Haynes. “Unfortunately, the complex’s current shuttle cannot accommodate the Complainant’s wheelchair. The violation occurred when no reasonable accommodation was provided after it was requested.”
The apartment complex utilizes a 22-passenger bus which departs upwards of five times a day. The bus transports the complex’s residents, most of which are over the age of 55, to several special events each month. This service is included as part of the amenities provided by Crestwood Village South; however, the complex asserts it cannot accommodate an individual in a wheelchair.
In order to show Respondent denied Complainant a reasonable accommodation, the Complaining party move prove: (1) she falls within a protected class; (2) Respondent knew or should have known Complainant was a member of a protected class; (3) she made a verbal or written request for an accommodation; and (4) Respondent denied or unreasonably delayed Complainant’s request for a reasonable accommodation.
Similarly, Complainant must prove the following to demonstrate she was subjected to different terms and conditions: (1) she falls within a protected class; (2) she is eligible, willing, and able to use the provided transportation consistent with Respondent’s reasonable terms and conditions; (3) she made it known she wanted to use the transportation available to residents of Respondent’s facility; (4) Respondent failed to make the service available to Complainant; and (5) Respondent made the transportation service available to non-disabled residents.
It is important to note that a finding of probable cause does not resolve a Civil Rights Complaint. Rather, it means the State has concluded its preliminary investigation and determined there is sufficient evidence to support reasonable suspicion that the Indiana Civil Rights Laws have been violated in this particular instance. The Indiana Civil Rights Law provides remedies, including compensatory damages and injunctive relief, such as changes in the employer’s policies and training.
The Indiana Civil Rights Commission enforces the Indiana civil rights laws and provides education and services to the public in an effort to ensure equal opportunity for all Hoosiers and visitors to the State of Indiana. For more information visit: www.in.gov/icrc or call 1-800-628-2909.