HOAs required to permit construction of accessible structures

My theory is that homeowners associations (HOAs) are run by the same people who bullied their fellow students in high school for not wearing the right brand of jeans.   Only now they have power over the house you bought and live in. This post is about the Fair Housing Act and the fact that it requires landlords and HOAs to make reasonable accommodations in their policies and to permit residents to make reasonable (physical) modifications to property at their own expense where necessary because of the resident’s disability.* HUD and the DOJ have collaborated on excellent explanatory memos on both reasonable accommodations and reasonable modifications.   [Both pdf.] Seth and Lisa Moates lived in a development called Plantation Oaks** outside of Montgomery, Alabama.   Mr. Moates uses a manual wheelchair, but was moving toward having to use a power chair which, in turn, would require a lift-equipped van.   The Moateses wanted to build a garage to fit their new van as well as Mr. Moates’s therapy equipment.   Of course, they couldn’t just build the structure they needed for Mr. Moates’s disability.   They lived in an HOA community, in which an “Architectural Review Committee” asserted power over decisions like this.   And of course [t]he ARC denied the Moateses’ initial request on April 8, 2013 for the stated reason that alternate garages and structures were inconsistent with the other Plantation Oaks homes and not in the best interest of the neighborhood.*** That’s right, Mr. Moates, you can’t park your new van in a garage or store your therapy equipment because that would not be “in the...
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