Denial of a Parking Policy Accommodation Request Stirs Up Trouble 

HUD has charged the owner and manager of a New York apartment complex with violation of the Fair Housing Act.  According to the charge, repeated denial for a reasonable accommodation in the form of an assigned accessible parking space constitutes a failure to provide equal access to housing for persons with disabilities.  The resident initially requesting the accommodation, suffers from a neurological disease that makes it impossible to walk long distances and maintain balance.

The Fair Housing Act requires landlords to make reasonable accommodations in their rules, policies, practices, or services when needed to provide persons with disabilities an equal opportunity to use or enjoy a dwelling.  The factual allegations state that the resident was then forced to compete for an accessible space with other residents or park further away from the apartment.  The stated   defense by the owner and the manager is that they are in full compliance with local codes for providing accessible parking for all residents.

Although the case remains pending in the federal district court, the HUD Assistant Secretary for Fair Housing and Equal Opportunity released a statement which indicates that easy access parking spaces for persons with certain forms of disabilities can make a difference in that individual’s daily life.  There is no word on when a decision will be made on this case.