WASHINGTON, D.C. – October 31, 2013 – (RealEstateRama) — The U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development (HUD) announced today that a Las Vegas homeowners association, its management company, and the owner of a rental property will pay $65,000 under a Conciliation Agreement resolving allegations that they violated the Fair Housing Act when they refused to grant a family’s request to park in the driveway of its home an ambulance that the family needed to transport its son, who has a disability, to and from medical appointments.
The Fair Housing Act prohibits discrimination based on disability and requires housing providers, including homeowners associations, to make reasonable accommodations in their rules, policies, practices or services when needed to provide persons with disabilities an equal opportunity to use or enjoy a dwelling.
“Homeowners associations must grant reasonable accommodations that enable residents to meet the needs of family members with disabilities,” said Bryan Greene, HUD’s Acting Assistant Secretary for Fair Housing and Equal Opportunity. “Homeowners associations have the same responsibility as housing providers to follow fair housing laws.”
The family filed a complaint with HUD alleging that, after it purchased an ambulance to transport its son to and from medical appointments, the homeowners association refused to permit the family to park the ambulance in the family’s driveway. The son’s disability makes it necessary to transport him in a prone position. The family alleged that, despite providing the homeowners association with a letter documenting the family’s need for the ambulance, the association and its property management company refused the family’s requests, citing association rules that do not allow residents to park commercial vehicles on their properties.
Under the terms of the conciliation agreement, Harbor Cove Homeowners Association, First Columbia Community Management, Inc., and HAE Investments, LTD, will pay $65,000 to the family and establish a reasonable accommodation policy for future requests. In addition, the parties agree to revise the management practices, rental agreements, and occupancy rules of Harbor Cove Homeowners Association to better accommodate the needs of persons with disabilities.
Persons who believe they have experienced housing discrimination may file a complaint by contacting HUD’s Office of Fair Housing and Equal Opportunity at (800) 669-9777 (voice) or (800) 927-9275 (TTY). Housing discrimination complaints may also be filed by going to www.hud.gov/fairhousing, or by downloading HUD’s free housing discrimination mobile application, which can be accessed through Apple devices such as the iPhone, iPad, and iPod Touch.
HUD’s mission is to create strong, sustainable, inclusive communities and quality affordable homes for all.
HUD is working to strengthen the housing market to bolster the economy and protect consumers; meet the
need for quality affordable rental homes: utilize housing as a platform for improving quality of life; build
inclusive and sustainable communities free from discrimination; and transform the way HUD does business.
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