After the HOA refused to let the family keep the ambulance in their driveway, making it a lot tricker to bring their son to his medical appointments while lying down, the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development stepped in to clear things up, reports MSN.
The HOA now has to pay the family $65,000 in a settlement over a disability discrimination complaint filed last year, but as is often the case in settlements, it isn’t admitting any wrongdoing.
The HOA had insisted that the family was going against community rules that prohibited parking commercial vehicles in the upscale neighborhood, the family said in its complaint last year. This, despite the fact that they had sent a letter to the HOA explaining why they needed the ambulance.
HUD says it doesn’t matter, basically, if your fancy nice neighborhood would look funny with such a vehicle hanging around — medical necessities trump anything else in this case.
“Homeowners associations must grant reasonable accommodations that enable residents to meet the needs of family members with disabilities,” Bryan Greene, HUD’s acting assistant secretary for fair housing, said in a statement. “Homeowners associations have the same responsibility as housing providers to follow fair housing laws.”
In addition to the $65,000 payment, the HOA has agreed to revise its policy and send staff members to fair housing training and emblazon “We are a fair housing provider” on letterhead.