Frederick Couple Files Suit Challenging Developer’s Refusal to Accommodate Wheelchair in Unbuilt Home Plan

Family alleges refusal violated the Fair Housing Act.

DENVER, August 6, 2018 – Nina and Robert Lindstrom had been planning for years to move from Alabama to Colorado to be closer to Nina’s daughter and their grandchildren. While preparing for the move, however, Nina Lindstrom fell and injured her spine. She now cannot walk and uses a power wheelchair for mobility.

After the accident and months of intense rehabilitation, the Lindstroms were finally able to move to Colorado. Their house hunting process led them to the Autumn Valley Ranch community in Dacono developed by Century Communities, Inc. (“CCI”). Autumn Valley Ranch was ideal both because it was near family and because construction on the homes had not yet commenced, giving the Lindstroms — or so they thought — the opportunity to adjust the floorplan to be accessible to Ms. Lindstrom.

When they initially met with a CCI sales representative and explained the modest adjustments they’d need — wider doors; level entrances — he appeared willing to implement the requested changes. (Though not obligated to do so, the Lindstroms offered to pay any difference in construction costs.) The following day, however, the CCI representative informed the Lindstroms’ Realtor that he had checked with CCI’s Vice President of Construction and Division President, and CCI would not be willing to make any accommodations in the floorplan.

To be clear, at the point when CCI refused to make the Lindstroms’ accommodations, the “home” consisted of a patch of dirt and some drawings.

The Lindstroms continued their home search, eventually purchasing an existing house that required extensive renovations before Ms. Lindstrom could use it, and that remains less than fully accessible.

“The Fair Housing Act requires reasonable accommodations. Because construction had not started, the modest adjustments the Lindstroms requested were eminently reasonable,” said Amy Robertson, Co-Executive Director of Civil Rights Education and Enforcement Center and counsel for the Lindstroms. “This scenario is shockingly common: for some reason, developers do not understand that unbuilt homes are subject to the reasonable accommodation requirement of the Fair Housing Act.”

“We were very distressed that CCI would not make simple adjustments to let us live in the Autumn Valley Ranch community,” said Nina Lindstrom. “We hope our lawsuit will help educate new home builders so other disabled homeseekers do not have to go through this.”

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