Imagine you can’t reach the light switch in your house; can’t change the temperature on your thermostat; can’t access the trash can.

After complaints of barriers to amenities like these for people with disabilities at the housing complex at Severance Corners, the Colchester growth center is making changes.

According to a statement from the U.S. Dept.of Justice, the location of certain amenities in the housing complex including light switches, thermostats, a fitness room, and trash receptacles are inaccessible. This is in violation of the Fair Housing Act which requires accessible housing for people with disabilities, among other things. The U.S. Attorney for the District of Vermont inquired into the complex’s accessibility and resolved the issue with the Colchester growth center.

“If housing is not built to be accessible for people with disabilities, it is effectively unavailable to those people,” said U.S. Attorney Christina E. Nolan. “Particularly given the limited housing stock in this area, it is critically important that builders are complying with the Fair Housing Act’s requirements to create accessible housing. We commend Severance Corners Village Center, LLC, for quickly committing to make changes once the architectural barriers to accessibility were brought to its attention.”

Jules Torti, Civil Division Chief and Civil Rights Coordinator, handled the matter with the U.S. Attorney’s office for the District of Vt. and attorneys from the Civil Rights Division of the DOJ.