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.

Saturday, June 25, 2011

Disabled Army Veteran Wins Battle Over Parking Space

Imagine buying a condo only to discover it doesn't come with a certain promised amenity. Now imagine that this "amenity" was something you needed each day to accommodate a disability.

A New Rochelle, New York man recently found himself in exactly this situation.

When looking to purchase his first-floor unit at the complex, the disabled Army veteran and cancer survivor claims the contractor assured him he would get the one parking space at the premises that's flat enough to accommodate his van and wheelchair lift, according to reporting from The Journal News.

But things turned ugly when another condo owner claimed the space was hers and demanded $10,000 from the man to give it up.

With the help of a disability advocacy group, the man convinced the condo board to give him the parking space as a reasonable accommodation for his disability, a requirement of both the Fair Housing Act (FHA) and county law.

The man finally moved into his condo the parking space he needed, the battle with his neighbor appearing to be over. However, the neighbor is reportedly taking the condo board to court, claiming she needed the space for her disabled mother's visits, and that she deserves $300,000 for her mental anguish.

If you were on the condo board, would you have voted to give the man the accessible space? If he hadn't been promised the space by the contractor, would that affect your decision? Does the neighbor deserve any compensation from the condo board?

What do you think?


Anonymous said...

I think the man absolutely deserves the space, regardless of whether or not he was promised the space. If he did not have the space it would clearly interfere with his ability to access his home easily. The neighbor deserves nothing; their mother does not live there and is not entitled to monopolize a parking space on the off chance that she might visit. The neighbor is just trying to make some easy money with a ridiculous claim, and hopefully a judge will see right through it.

Anonymous said...

He lives there, her mother visits... huge difference.