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.

Friday, February 7, 2014

Retirement Community Accused of Penalizing Renters for Needing Motorized Wheelchairs

A Virginia retirement community has been hit with a fair housing complaint for allegedly violating the Fair Housing Act's (FHA) ban on discrimination based on disability.

According to a press release issued Wednesday by Housing Opportunities Made Equal of Virginia, Inc. (HOME), the organization filing the complaint, The Towers Retirement Community in Richmond unfairly and illegally places substantial burdens on renters who need to use a motorized wheelchair in connection with a disability.

Specifically, HOME claims that the community requires renters to commit to an additional $1,500 security deposit as well as obtain liability insurance for motorized wheelchairs, essentially making such renters pay for having a disability. Also, renters who use motorized mobility devices are apparently barred from using the community's transportation services—even though they're reportedly required to pay a monthly transportation fee as part of their monthly rent. In addition, HOME alleges that the community requires renters wishing to use a motorized wheelchair to get their disability assessed by the community's staff.

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