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.

Monday, February 28, 2011

Invalid Reasons for Denying Modification/Accommodation Requests - Part 2

Here's another recent example of an owner or property manager denying a modification/accommodation request for an invalid reason. Unlike the first example, however, this owner appears to have tried to comply with relevant laws, but his research efforts came up short.

According to the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development's (HUD) Charge of Discrimination of February 9, 2011, the owner and manager of an Oyster Bay, New York coop repeatedly denied a resident's request for an assigned accessible parking space. The resident, who suffers from neuropathy and can't walk long distances, claimed he needed the space as a reasonable accommodation for his disability.

After the resident was not allowed to reserve one of the two designated accessible parking spaces closest to the entrance, he had to compete for an accessible space with other residents or park further away from his apartment.

The owner and manager denied the resident's request, claiming that they were "in full compliance with local codes regarding handicap parking." That may be, but they apparently were unaware of the Fair Housing Act's requirement to consider accommodation requests from residents — and grant them if they're reasonable.

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