11News recently reported on a condominium association in Grand Junction that has evidently made it difficult for a 96 year old resident to receive delivery of oxygen tanks which are critical to her health and well-being.
Ms. Metcalfe claims that the homeowners’ association (“HOA”) is no longer permitting her oxygen tanks to be delivered through the front entrance of the association. As a result, she is forced to travel down 3 flights of stairs to receive her delivery from the garage entrance. Ms. Metcalfe claims that she has already taken a serious fall trying to get down to the garage. She told 11News that “I did fall, and I injured my head, my hip, my knee.” She was subsequently hospitalized for treatment of her injuries.
For the past 5 years, Ms. Metcalfe had received delivery of the oxygen tanks directly to the door of her unit. Now she claims the HOA Administrator doesn’t want furniture scarred and is requiring the oxygen tanks to be delivered through the garage.
Aside from the obvious issue of not being respectful to the needs of the elderly, this HOA likely has significant problems under the Federal Fair Housing Amendments Act (“FHAA”). Under the FHAA, associations are required in part to provide “handicapped” persons with reasonable accommodations in rules, policies, practices, or services, when such accommodations may be necessary to afford that person equal opportunity to use and enjoy a dwelling. There is little doubt that requiring Ms. Metcalfe to travel to the garage to receive delivery of her oxygen tanks is a violation of this particular provision of the FHAA and the HOA should make an accommodation for Ms. Metcalfe. Not to mention – it’s just the right thing to do!