Monroe Woman Resolves Fair Housing Claim

Fair Housing Center of Southeast & Mid Michigan
PO Box 7825, Ann Arbor, MI 48107 (877) 979-FAIR
October 7, 2020

Media Contacts: Pamela A. Kisch, (734) 636-0860; Michael J. Steinberg, (313) 570-8622

Monroe Woman Resolves Fair Housing Claim

The Civil Rights Litigation Initiative, a new legal clinic at the University of Michigan Law
School, has won a victory for Monroe, Michigan resident Sheila Ashley in a disability
discrimination case. Ms. Ashley accepted $5,000 from a Monroe area Real Estate
broker, Edward Pipis, to resolve her fair housing complaint. “I am very, very pleased
with the way this turned out,” said Ms. Ashley.

Ms. Ashley contacted the Fair Housing Center of Southeast & Mid Michigan in 2018
after she was denied the right to install a ramp at the entrance of an apartment in
Monroe. Ms. Ashley has a disability and uses a wheelchair.

Testing by the Fair Housing Center supported Ms. Ashley’s claim that Edward Pipis
refused to rent to her because she wished to install a ramp in order to gain access to
the apartment.

The case was resolved by law students Will McCartney, Claire Shimberg and Natalie Treacy, working under the supervision of Professor Michael J. Steinberg, Director of the
Civil Rights Litigation Initiative of the University of Michigan Law School. Ms. Ashley
called Professor Steinberg and the law students, “heaven sent,” and said they “helped
her through so much.”

The Civil Rights Litigation Initiative just filed another Fair Housing Center-referred case
last week. Testing by the Fair Housing Center supported the claim of discrimination
based on familial status and sex.

The Fair Housing Center of Southeast & Mid Michigan, founded in 1992, actively protects the civil rights of those who are discriminated against in the rental, sale, or financing of housing through investigation, education, advocacy, and legal action. The FHC takes an average of 180 complaints each year from its eight-county service area – Ingham, Clinton, Eaton, Jackson, Lenawee, Livingston, Monroe, and Washtenaw counties.

The work that provided the basis for this publication was supported by funding under a grant with the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development. The substance and findings of the work are dedicated to the public. The author and publisher are solely responsible for the accuracy of the statements and interpretations contained in this publication. Such interpretations do not necessarily reflect the views of the Federal Government.

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