A four-year consent decree jointly filed in federal court by Trammell Crow Residential (TCR) and the Equal Rights Center (ERC) ends litigation initiated by the Washington, D.C.-based advocacy group against TCR. ERC filed the lawsuit against TCR in July 2007 alleging that 284 of the firm's properties failed to comply with the Fair Housing Act and the Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA). ERC claimed it had tested about 40 of those properties named in the complaint and alleged at least one specific violation at each.
The agreement, accepted by the U.S. District Court for the
The parties agreed that any of the HUD-recognized safe harbors could be the basis for compliance review, and the decree also includes safe harbor tolerances. TCR has agreed to provide some retrofitting and corrective work as necessary at a group of properties that it currently owns. ERC provided a release on all other TCR projects developed and constructed since March 1991, including those completed within two years of the lawsuit but sold to third parties.
For firms that join the new program, ERC has agreed that it will not initiate a lawsuit or an administrative action against a program member for any alleged violations covering properties that are included in a settlement or which were in development during a firm’s program membership. Instead, the matter would be addressed in an arbitration process. In addition, if a program member is sued by a third party, ERC says that it will provide testimony regarding the firm’s efforts at compliance through participation in the program.