Federal housing regulators have charged the owner and manager of an Oyster Bay housing complex with discriminating against a disabled man by refusing to provide him an assigned parking spot near his apartment.
The tenant has neuropathy, a condition caused by nerve damage, and "that makes it impossible for him to walk long distances and maintain balance," the Department of Housing and Urban Development said Thursday.
"Unable to reserve one of the two designated handicap parking spaces closest to the entrance, the tenant was forced to compete for an accessible space with other residents or park further away from his apartment," HUD said.
"The owner and manager refused to accommodate his request, stating management was in full compliance with local codes for providing accessible parking for all residents."
The defendants, 4 Anchorage Lane Owners Inc. and Total Community Management Corp., are charged with violating the Fair Housing Act. The act requires landlords to make reasonable accommodations for handicapped persons, allowing them access.
The owners could not immediately be reached for comment Friday.
"A parking space that provides easier access to and from their residence can mean all the difference to a person with disabilities' participation in daily life," John Trasviña, HUD assistant secretary for fair housing and equal opportunity, said in a prepared statement.
The HUD charge will be heard by a United States administrative law judge unless any party to the charge chooses to have the case heard in federal district court.
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