HOA to pay $65K after banning family's ambulance

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Associated Press

Posted on October 31, 2013 at 1:03 AM

Updated Thursday, Oct 31 at 1:07 AM

LAS VEGAS (AP) — A Las Vegas homeowners association agreed to pay $65,000 to a family after refusing to allow them to park an ambulance they used for their disabled son in the driveway, federal officials said Wednesday.

The HOA admits no wrongdoing in the settlement announced by the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development. But the payment will put closure on the disability discrimination complaint that was filed last December.

"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."

Federal officials said the family bought the ambulance because their disabled son needed to be taken to medical appointments while lying down.

According to the complaint, the Harbor Cove Homeowners Association banned the family from keeping the ambulance in their driveway in an upscale Las Vegas neighborhood, saying community rules prohibited parking commercial vehicles there.

Family members said they submitted a letter explaining their need for the ambulance, but they were rebuffed by the HOA.

Harbor Cove, First Columbia Community Management Inc., and HAE Investments Ltd. have agreed to pay the family and revise their policy. They also are required to send HOA staff members to fair housing training and prominently feature the statement, "We are a fair housing provider" on letterhead.

Officials from the management company didn't immediately return a message seeking comment Wednesday.

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