Safe Harbor British Virgin IslandsMiami Valley Fair Hous. Ctr., Inc. v. Preferred Living Real Est. Investments, LLC,2018 WL 4690790, at  (S.D. Ohio Sept. 28, 2018) is not a brand new case, but it contains so much of interest it is worth a close second look by both defendants and plaintiffs in FHA design/build cases.

The Court’s principal holding is the obvious but often overlooked rule the various safe harbors for the design and construction of multi-family dwellings are a shield, not a sword. In Miami Valley the plaintiffs produced a typical expert report in this kind of case. It listed several hundred supposed accessibility barriers based on deviations from the original FHA Guidelines promulgated by HUD in  1991 along with the assertion that because the Guidelines are the least restrictive of the HUD recognized safe harbors the apartments did not meet any safe harbor standard. Based on this evidence the plaintiffs sought summary judgment. More