Fair Housing vs. Unfair Housing

Do you know the difference?

Knowing the difference between fair housing and unfair housing isn't as obvious as you might think. This blog aims to present a variety of important and interesting fair housing issues.

If you're an apartment professional, avoid costly mistakes by reading the stories of others who — even with good intentions — learned compliance lessons the hard way. (For the easy way, click here.)

If you live in an apartment, get familiar with your rights when it comes to housing discrimination, as well as your options for seeking justice.


Thursday, November 20, 2008

Assisted Living Facility Needs Assistance with Motorized Wheelchair Policy

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The Department of Justice (DOJ) filed a fair housing complaint against the owners and operators of a 58-unit Evansville, Indiana independent and assisted senior living facility, on behalf of two tenants who were evicted for their motorized wheelchair use. The complaint, filed November 7, 2008, alleges that the facility's policy of refusing to let tenants use motorized wheelchairs or scooters in their apartments or in the facility's dining room violates the Fair Housing Act's ban on disability discrimination.

In one alleged instance, when one of the evicted tenants arrived at the dining room on his motorized wheelchair, facility employees reminded him of the policy and then attempted to "forcibly remove" him from his wheelchair. The DOJ filing follows HUD's issuance of Charges of Discrimination against the facility on September 25.

Interesting to note:

You may be surprised to read that an assisted living facility is imposing this ban, since you might expect such a place to be particularly attuned to the needs of tenants with disabilities and more aware of disability discrimination laws. According to the complaint, the facility's own admission requirements state that applicants must be "ambulatory," which the administrator explained means "capable of moving from place to place... even if the person required some form of assistance in moving about, be it a cane, walker, or a[n] electric or nonelectric wheelchair or scooter." (Emphasis added.)

1 comment:

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