Disability Discrimination & Parking under the Fair Housing Act- Parking is an Amenity

Today Fair Housing Advocates, Inc. started to assist a disabled veteran living at an apartment complex near Charleston, South Carolina. The veteran was a retired Marine Corps Sergeant who currently rents a unit at an apartment complex with amenities to include a swimming pool near a clubhouse which has its own parking. His disability is a physical one which affects his lungs and substantially limits his ability to breathe. His disability, therefore, also affects his ability to walk very far without forcing himself to rest.

He called FHA complaining that he had to park his car in the general parking lot which did not have assigned parking spots for each apartment unit. He complained that he often had to park at the end of the lot since the only two handicapped parking spaces were often occupied by other disabled residents. It was also noted that the club house and swimming pool only had one handicap parking spot which was often occupied, requiring him to park further away which aggravated his disability.

He explained that he had made formal requests to the landlord and the property management company to provide him a personal handicap parking spot close to his unit, and to provide additional handicap parking closer to the club house and the swimming pool. The landlord, according to him, refused to provide him a parking spot.
Can a disabled person with a physical disability request to have their own handicap parking spot?

Yes. Parking is considered an Amenity that disabled persons must have access to, and should be provided to disabled persons especially if their disability would make it difficult for them to access their own unit, or other amenities, dues to their disability. Fair Housing Advocates is assisting the resident in penning an additional reasonable accommodations letter to be addressed to the landlord and the property management company. If the accommodation request is denied, the housing provider could be in violation of the fair housing act and the resident could file a fair housing complaint to establish and protect his housing civil rights.

If you or someone you know is disabled and needs assistance in the reasonable accommodations process, or needs assistance to file a fair housing complaint, please reach Fair Housing Advocates, Inc.- we are a nonprofit civil rights organization and we will assist any person, regardless of their household income, for free. To learn more, see our website at www.fairhousingact.org, email us at info@fairhousingact.org or call us at (877) 838-9963.

Patrick Coleman

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