March 10, 2022 | Categories: Media, News, Physical Disability, Press Release, Rental
CORUNNA – The Fair Housing Center of Southeast & Mid Michigan (FHC) announces the settlement of its first lawsuit in Shiawassee County.
A Corunna resident with a mobility impairment contacted the FHC after her landlord at Cavalier Greene Apartments refused to provide her with a designated accessible parking space near the entrance to her apartment. While the case began as a simple request for reasonable accommodation for her physical disability, it went on to include months of stalling on the part of the management company, Woda Cooper, and threats of retaliation from the manager.
According to the lawsuit, filed in Federal Court by FHC Cooperating Attorney Daniel Gwinn, Lalonde told our complainant that they might not renew her lease or that they might have to move her, though no units were available in the 18-unit apartment complex. It is illegal to retaliate against an individual for exercising their fair housing rights.
This was the first FHC lawsuit in Shiawassee County. It was assigned to the Honorable Stephanie Dawkins Davis. Our complainant accepted a monetary settlement and was given her reserved accessible parking space and sign.
“We formally added Shiawassee County to our service area in 2021,” said FHC Director of Investigations Jessica Ortiz Farley, “and we hope stories like this will help get the word out to residents of Corunna, Durand, Laingsburg, Owosso, Perry, and the rest of the county that they can turn to the Fair Housing Center of Southeast & Mid Michigan if they suspect they’ve been discriminated against in the rental, sale, or financing of housing.”
Cooperating Attorney Daniel Gwinn added that his law firm “stands ready to litigate violations of the Fair Housing Act to ensure Michigan citizens receive the full benefit of their federally protected rights to equal opportunity in housing.”
The Fair Housing Center of Southeast & Mid Michigan, founded in 1992, actively protects the civil rights of those who are discriminated against in the rental, sale, or financing of housing through investigation, education, advocacy, and legal action. The FHC takes an average of 180 complaints each year from its 10-county service area – Clinton, Eaton, Hillsdale, Ingham, Jackson, Lenawee, Livingston, Monroe, Shiawassee, and Washtenaw counties.
The work that provided the basis for this publication was supported by funding under a grant with the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development. The substance and findings of the work are dedicated to the public. The author and publisher are solely responsible for the accuracy of the statements and interpretations contained in this publication. Such interpretations do not necessarily reflect the views of the Federal Government.