Thursday, June 4, 2020

Lawsuit claims evictions were illegal

A non-profit addiction recovery organization has filed a lawsuit against a Canton Township apartment complex claiming the management committed both fair housing and civil rights violations in evicting program clients. 
Joseph Paliwoda, CEO of Personalized Nursing LIGHT House, Inc. filed the federal lawsuit last week against the owners of Crossings at Canton. Co-plaintiffs in the lawsuit are LIGHT House and the Fair Housing Center of Metropolitan Detroit.
The plaintiffs  claim through the court filing that when the apartment complex was sold to Crossing Owner LLC and Pepper Pike Property Management LLC in 2018, 70 of his clients were evicted from their apartments. The lawsuit alleges that the new owners refused to renew leases with LIGHT House clients and the nearly $230,000 in annual rental payments based on a desire for a “different demographic.” The filing claims that the rental payments were made on time and that the actions of the management company and owners was based on the disabilities of the tenants involved, all LIGHT House clients.
The new owners sent LIGHT House 'Notice to Quit, Termination of Tenancy” forms in December of 2018 along with a letter claiming renovations at the apartment complex would require the tenants to leave. The lawsuit alleges that during this time, the apartment complex continued to advertise rental units with “Immediate Occupancy.”
Clients of LIGHT House spend about 10 weeks in the outpatient recovery program including housing in the furnished apartment units at Crossings of Canton, which is near treatment centers in Plymouth and Canton, according to Paliwoda. The group currently has about 125 clients in various apartment complexes who are regularly visited by staff members and screened for substance abuse.
LIGHT House located alternate apartment housing for the clients, Paliwoda said, but the ensuing financial losses and emotional distress inflicted on the clients was stressful, prompting the lawsuit seeking legal redress for the “blatant” and “harmful” actions of the complex owners.