Five apartment complexes in St. Louis and St. Charles counties are accused of Fair Housing Act violations.
On Thursday, the St. Louis Equal Housing and Opportunity Council (EHOC) filed complaints with the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development for construction violations, which allegedly limit accessibility for the disabled.
EHOC Executive Director Will Jordan spoke during a Thursday news conference at Paraquad. He says it’s part of a year-long investigation.
“In 2017, architects, builders and developers should all, and I mean all, know the basic requirements for accessibility and the HUD requirements are absolutely the basic. Instead, our investigation found egregious design and construction violations for that limit housing opportunities and choices for persons with disabilities,” Jordan says.
The alleged violations include lack of curb cuts, inaccessible entrances and unusable interior spaces.
Paraquad President and CEO Aimee Wehmeier describes the violations as unacceptable.
“These barriers are like a door that’s locked without a key. We are shut out from equal housing. That’s poor planning and it’s illegal,” Wehmeier tells St. Louis reporters.
The complexes named in the EHOC complaints are Vance Station Apartment Homes, Pinecrest Apartments, River Crossing Apartments, Bridgewater Residences and Bramblett Hill Apartments.
Kent Evans, co-owner of Vance Station Apartment Homes, tells Missourinet this is the first he’s heard of the investigation.
Evans says “it’s not factual. It’s an attack.”
Evans also says Vance Station has “the best” ADA units, adding that they “were in constant communication with Paraquad” during and after construction.
Missourinet has requested comment from the other four apartment complexes, but they haven’t responded yet.
This story written by Missourinet St. Louis contributor Jill Enders