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NYU to make dorms more affordable after DOJ complaint


After reaching an agreement with the US Department of Justice, NYU will expand the availability of student housing over the next five years.


Gramercy Green is located at 310 Third Ave. (Samson Tu for WSN)

NYU will begin a five-year effort to make housing more affordable after reaching an agreement with the US Department of Justice. Some university housing facilities have previously been found to be in violation of the Americans with Disabilities Act.

The ADA requires facilities owned by institutions like NYU to be free of barriers to access for people with disabilities. Bathrooms, fountains and walkways must be accessible to housing. NYU’s steps to address the noncompliance are outlined in a settlement announced Tuesday, Nov. 22, by Damian Williams, U.S. Attorney for the Southern District of New York.

“The settlement resolves a compliance review in which the U.S. Attorney’s Office found various aspects of NYU’s student housing that did not comply with Title III of the ADA and the ADA Standards for Accessible Design, including violations of the new ADA building regulations and barriers to access to existing o “objects”, – says the announcement of the agreement.

To determine which of its buildings are not ADA compliant, the university has agreed to first conduct a survey of its residence halls over the next four months. Once the survey is complete, NYU will update its website to include information designed to assist students with disabilities in securing and maintaining accessible housing.

NYU will also implement an access plan for campus housing that will detail the actions the university will take to address issues identified during the survey. The draft access plan must be publicly available to students, faculty and staff on the university’s website for one year after the effective date of the agreement.

The university should also update its emergency evacuation and shelter plans. NYU has agreed to implement these changes in the university’s more than 4,000 housing units, which house about 12,000 students each semester.

In addition, the agreement requires NYU to hire an ADA student housing coordinator who will monitor the university’s compliance with the terms of the agreement. They will serve as a liaison between representatives of NYU offices, including the Departments of Facilities Management and Residence Life, as well as the Office of the General Counsel. The ADA Student Housing Coordinator, along with other staff, will be required to receive additional training on accessibility requirements.

NYU spokesman John Beckman told WSN that the university is committed to making student housing fully ADA compliant.

“This agreement allows NYU to better meet these commitments over the next five years by thoroughly examining the student housing system and making additional changes to improve affordability,” Beckman said. “We think this is a good result.”

A similar agreement was established earlier this week between the Department of Justice and the University of California, Berkeley. The settlement seeks to resolve allegations of noncompliance with the ADA and requires the university to make online content — including live or recorded lectures, conferences and university events — accessible to people with hearing, vision, or mobility impairments on over the next three years. half a year. NYU is the second university in two days to address accessibility and ADA non-compliance issues.

“The ADA requires colleges and universities to ensure that no one is discriminated against because of a disability in the full and equal use of their services and facilities,” Williams said in a statement. “We are pleased that NYU has made a commitment to improve the accessibility of the university’s student housing, and we hope that other colleges and universities will follow suit and increase access to their institutions for people with disabilities.”

Contact Yezen Saadah at [email protected]

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