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need advice dealing with my HOA

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    #16
    Originally posted by dan_nc
    You're allowed to be disabled.
    Hmm, I don't know whether to say "Thank the Lord" or "Damn the Lord"!

    Thanks for explaining some of the HOA rules and regulations. I've heard of such community governing bodies before but never took enough interest to learn about them. But count me out... I'm an American or more precisely, a US citizen, land of the free and all that garbage.

    Bob.
    "Be kind, for everyone you meet is fighting a great battle." - Philo of Alexandria

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      #17
      Thanks all. Dan's link gave me what I needed. I sent a final version of the letter in my OP earlier. The issue is now when my wheels and my ramp are on the same level, that incline is getting steep. Honestly, part if it could be that I'm still weak from being so sick. I'm supposed to start a few sessions of PT soon.

      Plus, when I clench for the effort to go up, I spasm backward and try to flip out of the chair. I'd like to avoid that if at all possible.

      When I park at the curb, the wheels are down about 5 inches so once the van kneels, the ramp "bridges" the curb more like a draw bridge than a ramp. That way my entry into the van is almost level and sooooo much easier than pushing upward.

      FTR, I was disabled when I bought this house. The only thing that has changed is my ability to push up my ramp.

      I sent pictures to the HOA documenting my problem. Seriously, if it comes down to it, I'll end up in Court at some point and once a judges sees the issue, I'll get the necessary accommodation. I hope this goes the easier route instead.

      So, for anyone who may need to adapt it, here's the final letter I sent to my property manager.

      Vicki,


      In an effort to be a good neighbor, I have already completed this form. Perhaps it was wrong to have done so because it created an impression that it was acceptable for the HOA to attempt to abridge the rights of people with disabilities. Nonetheless, this matter has previously been resolved with the Board.


      I will not complete this variance form again. I am NOT asking permission. I am, once again, making the HOA aware of my need for a reasonable accommodation.


      I realize that you are coming into this in the middle. However, I am not responsible if the HOA files are incomplete or unclear on this matter. I do not intend to revisit this matter every time there is a change with in the HOA or management company.


      This is a matter for you to review with the HOA's attorney regarding an understanding of the applicable Federal statutes. It is not a voting matter for the Board.


      Here are the facts:
      • I legally reside at xxx
      • I am legally disabled as defined by the Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA) and the Fair Housing Act.
      • The ADA and Fair Housing Act are Federal laws that cannot be abridged or limited by any State or local law or ordinance.
      • The Fair Housing Act specifically makes it unlawful for any person to refuse "to make reasonable accommodations in rules, policies, practices, or services, when such accommodations may be necessary to afford ... person(s) [with disabilities] equal opportunity to use and enjoy a dwelling."
      • There is an identifiable relationship, or nexus, between the requested accommodation and my disability.
      • Courts have treated requests for parking spaces as requests for a reasonable accommodation and have placed the responsibility for providing the parking space on the housing provider, even if provision of an accessible or assigned parking space results in some cost to the provider. For example, courts have required a housing provider to provide an assigned space even though the housing provider had a policy of not assigning parking spaces or had a waiting list for available parking. However, housing providers may not require persons with disabilities to pay extra fees as a condition of receiving accessible parking spaces.

        Providing a parking accommodation could include creating signage, repainting markings, redistributing spaces, or creating curb cuts. This list is not exhaustive.
      • I require this reasonable accommodation to ensure my safety and continued use of my property.

      If you require, I can have my attorney provide a copy of the Fair Housing Act for your review.


      At your first convenience, I would appreciate a letter for my files stating that this issue is resolved.


      Thank you,
      My blog: Living Life at Butt Level

      Ignite Phoenix #9 - Wheelchairs and Wisdom: Living Life at Butt Level

      "I will not die an unlived life. I will not live in fear of falling or catching fire. I choose to inhabit my days, to allow my living to open me, to make me less afraid, more accessible, to loosen my heart until it becomes a wing, a torch, a promise. I choose to risk my significance; to live so that which comes to me as seed goes to the next as blossom and that which comes to me as blossom, goes on as fruit."

      Dawna Markova Author of Open Mind.

      Comment


        #18
        The text of the Fair Housing Act of 1968.

        http://www.usdoj.gov/crt/housing/title8.htm
        Daniel

        Comment


          #19
          Originally posted by dan_nc
          You're allowed to be disabled. You're even allowed to make home modifications. They can dictate the style and type of modifications (e.g. ramps might be required to be in the back of the home or access through the garage instead of the front and they might have to match the architecture of the community).
          Actually, if you remember the battles that Ami went through with her HOA, she learned that they CAN NOT force you to have your primary/only access through the back/side/garage for their aesthetics...She had a huge battle quite a while back but I was pretty sure she got it all straightened out....
          'Chelle
          L-1 inc 11/24/03

          "My Give-a-Damn's Busted"......

          Comment


            #20
            Originally posted by Broknwing
            Actually, if you remember the battles that Ami went through with her HOA, she learned that they CAN NOT force you to have your primary/only access through the back/side/garage for their aesthetics...She had a huge battle quite a while back but I was pretty sure she got it all straightened out....
            IIRC, she had her lawyer draft a letter to her HOA and her particular HOA backed down.

            HOAs here in NC do have the right to regulate the look and placement of ramps. One of my neighbors had built ramps in front of their home because of their child with severe disability. The HOA forced the neighbor to take down the ramp (at cost to the homeowner) and build a new ramp inside their garage.
            Daniel

            Comment


              #21
              Originally posted by cass
              However, I wonder if the local PD could help. In Cerritos, all street parking was banned where I lived. However, my van was allowed because of dis plates/placard. I bet that would trump the HOA and encourage you to talk to your local Chief of Police.

              I know in CA, they have spec. marked an hc spot in front of a dis person's house. Let the HOA try to fight that.
              The same goes in several areas in Maryland. In Baltimore City where street parking is legal you can get a specific 'resident only' parking sign in front of your home if disabled.
              Courage doesn't always roar. Sometimes courage is the quiet voice at the end of the day saying, "I will try again tomorrow."

              Disclaimer: Answers, suggestions, and/or comments do not constitute medical advice expressed or implied and are based solely on my experiences as a SCI patient. Please consult your attending physician for medical advise and treatment. In the event of a medical emergency please call 911.

              Comment


                #22
                Just got a letter from the property manager for my HOA. She'll be sending a permanent parking permit. She doesn't understand why this was not done previously and thanks me for my patience. LOL
                My blog: Living Life at Butt Level

                Ignite Phoenix #9 - Wheelchairs and Wisdom: Living Life at Butt Level

                "I will not die an unlived life. I will not live in fear of falling or catching fire. I choose to inhabit my days, to allow my living to open me, to make me less afraid, more accessible, to loosen my heart until it becomes a wing, a torch, a promise. I choose to risk my significance; to live so that which comes to me as seed goes to the next as blossom and that which comes to me as blossom, goes on as fruit."

                Dawna Markova Author of Open Mind.

                Comment


                  #23
                  Finally someone who uses their brain, and doesn;t sit on it!

                  Glad to hear.
                  T7-8 since Feb 2005

                  Comment


                    #24
                    Originally posted by JenJen
                    Just got a letter from the property manager for my HOA. She'll be sending a permanent parking permit. She doesn't understand why this was not done previously and thanks me for my patience. LOL
                    Beautiful and congrats, Jenjen!
                    Daniel

                    Comment


                      #25
                      the beauty of a well written and informed letter! good job.

                      Comment


                        #26
                        HOA and Trailer

                        Wanted to get an opinion. I have back and knee problems and had several surgeries. I am fortunate in that I can do some light work around the house. But no bending at the knees, or any lifting over 20#. However I am limited on how long I can be on my feet per day (About 2-hours per day) and have to take several long breaks off my feet completely between each work period. I have a utility trailer which is not allowed by HOA rules to be "parked" at the house but it is okay if its "in use". I try to be productive and do something around the house daily. Mostly light cleaning up, weeding, and some painting, putting up blinds, etc. We have just moved a few months ago and are going through boxes, putting up blinds, we had yard debris left by the previous owners in the yard to clean up. Due to my condition it take several days where most people to do do these jobs 4-5 hours. During the process I use the trailer for hauling and have to get help with the heavy items. But as soon as the trailer is disconnected from tow vehicle the HOA automatically considers it "parked" and fines me. Even if I could move the trailer back and forth to storage, it would decreases the time I can actually work on the property. But this wouldn't help either because I can't keep the trailer attach to the vehicle for 10-12 hours every day since my wife uses it for work, so I'd get fined anyway. I either am not allowed maintain the property which is a fine in itself, or not allowed to have the tools (in this case the trailer) on the property necessary to complete the job to avoid the fine. This is a temporary thing but there will be other projects in the future. How do I find something workable where I don't get fined for not maintaining the property or for the parked trailer and still be productive. If I wasn't disabled this wouldn't be an issue.

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