June 16, 2010
The Washington Lawyers’ Committee for Civil Rights and Urban Affairs honored Kelley Drye & Warren LLP with a 2010 Wiley A. Branton Outstanding Achievement Award for “exceptional work with the Washington Lawyers’ Committee during the previous year.” The firm was recognized for its pro bono work, in coordination with co-counsel at Dechert LLP, on behalf of the Equal Rights Center (ERC) in a fair housing case against AvalonBay Communities, Inc. AvalonBay owns and operates upscale apartment complexes across the United States.
Under the terms of the settlement that was successfully negotiated, AvalonBay will survey and remediate up to 8,250 housing units, along with the public-use and common-use areas associated with those units. AvalonBay will join the ERC’s Multifamily Housing Resource Program (MHRP), making a 10-year commitment at $50,000 per year to the program, as well as ensure that its employees are trained in and comply with the FHA. AvalonBay further agreed to pay damages, attorneys’ fees and costs.
The award was presented at a ceremony on June 16, 2010 in Washington, D.C. From its inception in 1968, the Washington Lawyers’ Committee for Civil Rights and Urban Affairs has seen its basic mission as mobilizing the resources of the private bar to address issues of discrimination and poverty in its community. The Committee’s projects cover a range of civil rights and poverty issues, including: Equal Employment Opportunity, Fair Housing, Immigrant and Refugee Rights, Public Accommodations, Disability Rights, Prisoners’ Rights and Public Education. Kelley Drye was honored for its work in the Fair Housing project category.