An apartment complex designed to accommodate those with disabilities is under fire from federal officials for having too few typically-developing residents.
The Apache ASL Trails apartments in Tempe, Ariz. were built to meet the needs of individuals who are deaf. Every unit is wheelchair accessible, blinking lights indicate when the doorbell rings or when the garbage disposal is on and a videophone helps residents keep in touch with friends.
But after the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development kicked in $2.6 million to help fund the project, the agency is now accusing the complex of discriminating against those who are not deaf, reports KSAZ.
The federal housing agency wants 75 percent of the units to be rented to individuals without disabilities and that has residents and lawmakers up in arms.
“To basically say there are too many disabled people here is just nuts,” U.S. Sen. Jeff Flake, R-Ariz., told the television station.
The state’s housing director said he’s trying to work with the federal government to resolve the issue, but hasn’t made much progress. In the meantime, those living at the complex are in limbo.
“As a deaf person, I feel like I have a right to live where I’d like to live,” said resident George Sierra.
Federal officials declined to comment at this point, but told The Arizona Republic last month that they are looking for a “win-win conclusion.”