Illinois Housing Authority pays $11,500 to single moms

In April, US Department of Housing and Urban Development (HUD) Administrative Law Judge Alan Heifitz approved an $11,500 settlement in a family status case against Lake Shore Plaza, a Chicago apartment complex.  Lake Shore Plaza is owned by the Illinois Housing Development Authority and managed by New Frontier Property Management.  Thirteen complainants shared in the settlement, which included $4,000 in attorneys’ fees.  Eleven of the complainants received $500 monetary awards and two of the complainants received $1,000.

 All 13 of the complainants had minor children living with them at Lake Shore Plaza.  In separate complaints filed in May 1993, all of the complainants asserted that the managers at Lake Shore had denied their children use of facilities at the complex including a swimming pool, a hot tub, an exercise room, and a laundry room.  Despite having their parents’ permission, children at the complex were told that they could not use the facilities unless they were accompanied by an adult.
Judge Alan Heifitz
 After reviewing the complaint, HUD issued a charge of discrimination in October 1996.  The respondents claimed that they had only been barring children from using facilities for safety reasons.  They admitted that allowing the children to use the facilities would have been less discriminatory, but that it would have been more damaging if one of the children had been injured or killed while using the facilities.    After an initial fact finding hearing, the complainants and respondents agreed to settle the dispute without a full hearing before Judge Heifitz.  In addition to the monetary payments, the respondents agreed to several conditions regarding the use of facilities by minor children living at the complex:


• Only children under the age of 13 will be required to have adult supervision while using the laundry facilities at the complex.
• Only children under the age of 16 will be required to have adult supervision while using the pool.
• Only children under the age of 16 will be required to have adult supervision while using the complex’s hot tub.
• Any new facilities constructed at the complex can only require that children under 16 be supervised by an adult.
• Finally, the managers of Lake Shore Plaza must remove any signs that list age restrictions which are contrary to the restrictions agreed to in the consent order.