Robinson Bradshaw Settles Affordable Housing Class Action Battle



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Dec. 10, 2020

Robinson Bradshaw, in partnership with the North Carolina Justice Center and Charlotte Center for Legal Advocacy, reached a settlement in favor of a putative class of plaintiffs in an action over living conditions at an affordable housing community. Under the agreement, the former owners would pay more than half a million dollars to settle the litigation.

The former tenants of Lake Arbor Apartments filed a class action against the former property owners for illegally collecting rent and fees while the apartments were in squalid and dangerous conditions and repeatedly failed City of Charlotte housing inspections. The suit alleged that in doing so, the owners violated many statutes, including Charlotte’s Housing Code and several North Carolina consumer protection laws. After the suit was filed in 2019, Lake Arbor evicted all of its tenants rather than complete repairs, leaving many vulnerable to homelessness. The owners have now agreed to pay $547,500 that will be distributed among the class of former tenants once the settlement has been approved by the court.

Robinson Bradshaw attorney Julian H. Wright Jr. represented the tenants pro bono and spoke with Fox 46 about the outcome of the suit.

“It’s about time,” Wright said. “It is good that, in some ways, these landlords are being held accountable and having to pay something.”

This high-profile case highlighted one of the many facets of Charlotte’s ongoing affordable housing crisis. Media coverage of the settlement includes:

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