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FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE CRT

TUESDAY, AUGUST 28, 2007 (202) 514-2007


WWW.USDOJ.GOV TDD (202) 514-1888

United States Files Suit Against Long


Island Housing Development Company
and Architect for Violating Fair
Housing Act Requirements
WASHINGTON – Wan J. Kim, Assistant Attorney General, Civil Rights Division
and Roslynn R. Mauskopf, U.S. Attorney for the Eastern District of New York,
today announced the filing of a federal complaint against Sayville Development
Group LLC and Stephen Ray Fellman for violations of the Fair Housing Act.
Sayville is the developer of a multifamily housing complex in Long Island, N.Y.
called Sayville Commons, which is a rental community for residents aged 55 and
older located at 400 Adams Way in Sayville, N.Y. Fellman is an architect who
provided architectural and engineering services for the construction of Sayville
Commons. The complaint also names the current owner of Sayville Commons,
Home Properties Sayville LLC as a defendant.

According to the government’s complaint, Sayville Commons, a 342 unit complex


with 171 ground floor units, violates the Fair Housing Act because it does not
provide appropriate access to persons with disabilities. In particular, the complaint
alleges that the common and public areas of Sayville Commons are not readily
accessible to persons with disabilities; the doors in ground floor units are not wide
enough to allow passage by persons who use wheelchairs, and the ground floor
units lack accessible routes into and through the units. The complaint further alleges
that ground floor units do not have usable kitchens and bathrooms for people who
use wheelchairs. The lawsuit seeks injunctive relief requiring Sayville Commons to
be brought into compliance with the Fair Housing Act, damages to compensate all
persons harmed by defendants’ discriminatory practices, and civil penalties to
vindicate the public interest.

“This lawsuit seeks to ensure that people with disabilities are not denied equal
access to fair housing,” said Wan J. Kim, Assistant Attorney General for the Civil
Rights Division. “The Justice Department will continue its vigorous enforcement of
all the fair housing laws.”
“Persons with disabilities and those who are confined to wheelchairs are entitled to
the protections of the Fair Housing Act, including readily accessible common and
public areas, access into and through their units and usable facilities,” stated United
States Attorney Mauskopf. “Developers and architects will be held accountable for
failing to extend these basic protections to our older, disabled citizens who need
them most.”

The government’s case is being litigated by Assistant U.S. Attorney Denise McGinn
and Trial Attorney Joseph Gaeta from the Civil Rights Division of the Department
of Justice.

Fighting illegal housing discrimination is a top priority of the Justice Department. In


February 2006, Attorney General Alberto R. Gonzales announced Operation Home
Sweet Home, a concentrated initiative to expose and eliminate housing
discrimination in America. More information about Operation Home Sweet Home is
available at the Justice Department website at http://www.usdoj.gov/fairhousing.
Individuals who believe that they may have been victims of housing discrimination
can call the Housing Discrimination Tip Line at 1-800-896-7743, email the Justice
Department at fairhousing@usdoj.gov, or contact the U.S. Department of Housing
and Urban Development at 1-800-669-9777.

Since Jan. 1, 2001, the Justice Department's Civil Rights Division has filed 230
cases to enforce the Fair Housing Act, 105 of which have alleged discrimination
based on disability.

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