Lehigh Valley

Bordeaux Lofts developers sued for unfair housing

Bethlehem Township development is subject of federal Fair Housing Act suit

FORT WASHINGTON, Pa. - A federal lawsuit has been filed against developers of  Bordeaux Lofts at the Vineyard at Wagner Farms, a 92-unit condominium project in Bethlehem Township, Northampton County.

The suit maintains that Wagner Enterprises and JAFO Development Corporation failed to provide accessibility features required by the federal Fair Housing Act.

It was filed by the Fair Housing Council of Suburban Philadelphia and the Disability Rights Network of Pennsylvania.

Wagner and JAFO are the designers, builders and owners of Bordeaux Lofts, according to a news release from the Fair Housing Council.

The suit maintains Fair Housing Act violations "effectively precluded" wheelchair users and other people with mobility impairments from living at Bordeaux Lofts.

Those violations include steps at the entrances of all 23 buildings in the development, doorways that are four inches narrower than the 32-inch minimum width requirement, inaccessible routes throughout the development and inaccessible mailboxes.

The violations were found when the Fair Housing Council conducted inspections of Bordeaux Lofts between March 2012 and May 2013. Its inspections are funded through a federal U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development program.

"Access to housing for people with disabilities is a civil right," said Atty. Rocco Iacullo of the Disability Rights Network.

"The failure to construct accessible housing as required by the Fair Housing Act denies people with disabilities equal access to housing opportunities and unnecessarily excludes them from their communities."

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