Saturday, January 16, 2016

HOA That Denied Family's Accommodation Request To Keep RV Which Was Allegedly Used As Medical Transport For Daughter With Multiple Disabilities Gets Tagged With Fair Housing Discrimination Lawsuit

In Keizer, Oregon, KATU-TV Channel 2 reports:
  • A Keizer family has filed a federal lawsuit against their Homeowner's Association, saying its ban on RVs violated both the state and federal fair housing law.

    Gary and Renee Kuhn had been living in Keizer's McNary Estates Development for years, and are now taking care of their adult daughter Khrizma full time.

    She has both Downs Syndrome and autism, and has unpredictable intestinal problems, like diarrhea and back pain. These issues made it necessary for the Kuhns to get an RV to be able to take Khrizma to medical appointments and other time-sensitive trips.

    "That medical condition has worsened to the point that it's difficult to know when we can put her in a vehicle and take her into Portland for medical appointments or for community activities," Renee Kuhn said of her daughter.

    The Kuhns say their HOA's bylaws ban parking recreational vehicles on homeowners' properties. They tried petitioning the HOA for an exemption to their ban on RVs to no avail.

    Kevin Harker is the HOA's attorney and says the associated tried to come up with alternatives for the Kuhns.

    "We suggested there are smaller, modified vans which can be fitted with bathrooms. We also suggested that they could buy an RV and park it offsite. There are at least two or three RV storage facilities within a few miles of the community," Harker said.

    The Kuhns say those options wouldn't have worked because of Khrizma's constant need for medical care.

    "It's a medical transport. People see it - it is not a recreational vehicle. It happens to be an RV but it's her medical transport," Renee Kuhn said.

    They now claim the HOA's actions, including threatening to move the RV off their property, amount to housing discrimination.

    Their federal lawsuit doesn't ask for a specific amount of money in damages.
Editor's Note: This homeowners' association has had a previous run-in with a former resident regarding the denial of a reasonable accommodation for a disability. See Court: HOA discriminated against disabled boy:
  • The McNary Estates Homeowners Association violated the Fair Housing Act by not accommodating a developmentally disabled boy, a Marion County judge ruled [].

    The Aug. 23 letter from Circuit Court Judge Joseph Guimond states the association was in error by barring a homeowner from installing privacy screens that he said prevents the boy from wandering off into the adjacent golf course. The 11-year-old child is the son of a homeowner’s girlfriend, who regularly stays at the house along with her son.