Fair Housing vs. Unfair Housing

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Tuesday, December 9, 2008

Remembering Why Accessible Apartments Are Accessible

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It sounds like a reasonable rule for an apartment complex that offers some accessible apartments: Let tenants without disabilities rent an accessible apartment, but have them agree to move if a tenant with a disability should need the apartment as an accommodation.

One lawsuit and an undisclosed financial settlement later, that's the rule that a federally assisted complex in Henrietta, New York has agreed to adopt, according to the Democrat and Chronicle. The lawsuit was brought by a former tenant who, as a paraplegic, was promised one of the complex's six accessible apartments but then told there's a three-year waiting list. The accessible apartments featured wider doors and other amenities aimed at helping people who use wheelchairs navigate the apartment and use kitchen counters. However, all six such apartments were reportedly occupied by tenants who didn't need them, while the one who did struggled in a nonaccessible apartment.

Making sure that accessible apartments get used by the very people for whom they were intended makes sense, don't you think?

1 comment:

Anonymous said...

This is difficult. Of course accessible units are necessary. However, it is also necessary to keep as many units rented as possible to ensure the financial viability of the complex. I hope the only reason that these accessible units were rented to people who did not need the accessible features was that there were no other units available at the time and there were no applicants requesting an accessible unit. The only compromise reasonable compromise may be to have the non disabled tenant agree to move to another unit in the event that one is available and there is a disabled person who needs the accessible unit.