COACH's Pop Quiz!

April 22, 2015
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Q: The only elevator at your community needs extensive renovations, which will take it out of service for several months. Two residents living on upper floors have disabilities that make it very difficult to go up and down stairs. You’ve offered to move them to first-floor units and move them back when the work is done, but they don’t want to move and, among other things, ask you to pay for specialized services to transport them up and down the stairs on a weekly basis. Must you to grant their request as a reasonable accommodation?

A: In similar circumstances, a New York court said no, ruling against two residents who accused the community of unlawfully denying their accommodation requests related to renovation of building’s only elevator. The court ruled that the community’s offer to move the residents to first-floor units during the renovations were reasonable. Based on the possibility of injury to the residents or the people carrying them, along with the significant cost of the service, the court didn’t think their requested accommodation was reasonable. For further details about what led to the court’s decision, see the full summary of the case in the May 2015 issue of Fair Housing Coach, “Accommodations & Modifications: What’s Reasonable?,” available to subscribers here.