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Neighbors To Pay $65K After Banning Accessible Vehicle


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Federal officials say a homeowners association is going to pay after refusing to allow a family to park a special vehicle in their driveway that they purchased to accommodate their son’s disability.

The Las Vegas family — which is not being named in legal documents made public this week — bought an ambulance to bring their son to and from medical appointments. Because of his disability, the son must be lying down while he’s transported, officials said.

Despite providing their local homeowners association with documentation of their son’s need for the ambulance, the family said that the Harbor Cove Homeowners Association and its management company barred them from keeping the vehicle in their driveway. The HOA allegedly cited rules prohibiting residents from parking commercial vehicles at their homes.

Now, the HOA and its management company have agreed to pay the family $65,000 and alter their policies after reaching an agreement brokered by the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development which stepped in after the family filed a complaint.

Under the Fair Housing Act, housing providers — including HOAs — are prohibited from discriminating against people with disabilities, the agency said.

“Homeowners associations must grant reasonable accommodations that enable residents to meet the needs of family members with disabilities,” said Bryan Greene, acting assistant secretary for fair housing and equal opportunity at the federal housing agency. “Homeowners associations have the same responsibility as housing providers to follow fair housing laws.”

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Comments (6 Responses)

  1. Kaylar4 says:

    I’m the president of our HOA — and I’m a person with multiple disabilities. Our CC&Rs are pre-ADA, but our Board would never ban a vehicle or ramp or any accessibility-related need. In the years that I’ve been on the Board, no one has ever lodged a complaint about a van or wheel-chair accessible bus parked in our neighborhood. If someone needed an ambulance for transport, I have no doubt that our Board would approve it, because we *care* about our neighbors. HOAs are about *homeowners!* Shame on that HOA!

  2. annie says:

    The fact that anything was said about the ambulance in the first place just makes me sad. It’s nice being able to drive a typical car, and ride in it sitting up, but not everyone is able to! Reasonable accommodations folks come on now.

  3. Anastacia says:

    This is disgraceful.

  4. Mike says:

    I don’t give a damn if they needed a crane to get him back and forth to his medical treatments no one should even say one word about it. If you stop and think about it the real stupidity of their decision is obvious. Unless they were planning to start their own ambulance service then the vehicle could not be considered commercial. Commercial vehicles are used to make money not to transport those with disabilities. They got off easy with only $65k, it should have been $65 million. I’m glad I don’t live in that neighborhood and I never will.

  5. Roger Baker says:

    Only ignorance lets committee get-away with this sort of mistake. $65K pays for a very nice vehicle to move the son. Tit for tat.

  6. Marcie says:

    Definitely sad, but not really that uncommon. Too many times the people who manage to get on these HOA boards are the bullying type who get that little bit of power and then smash everyone over the head with it. Couple that with a nasty neighbor who has an axe to grind with another – real or imagined – and his constant, petty complaints can cause a real headache for everyone. In this case the entire community is going to have to pony up to pay that $65K fine in the form of either a special assessment or higher HOA fees. I wonder whether this was just a bunch of really nasty people who all shared the same ignorant sense of indignation about their precious little community rules being “violated,” or if it was just that one particular group and the rest of the neighbors simply kept silent and failed to speak out against them. Either way, good for this family for standing up for their rights, and shame on that HOA and everyone who allowed such blatant discrimination to actually go this far! How ignorant and arrogant to think they would actually get away with it. And I thought my HOA was bad. Sheesh!

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