Fair housing case settled

(Kansas City, MO, Jul. 30, 2007) The Kansas City Human Relations Department recently settled a fair housing complaint in which the complainants alleged that they were denied a disabled parking space within reasonable walking distance of the entrance to their condominium. The complainants, Oswald and Maurine Pederson, received $10,000 as part of a settlement negotiated by the department. The respondents in the case were Curry Management Company, Inc., which manages The San Francisco Towers where the Pedersons live, and the Crown Center Redevelopment Corporation, the owners of the property.

The San Francisco Towers, located at 2510 Grand in Kansas City, opened in 1976 and consists of 104 condominium units. The property has a second complex of condominiums called San Francisco Place and the two complexes share a 446 parking garage. The Pedersons, who are both disabled, were assigned a parking space several feet from the entrance to the condominium. They requested a parking space closer to the entrance as a reasonable accommodation but were denied. On one occasion when Mr. Pederson did park closer to the entrance his vehicle was towed. Unable to reach a satisfactory arrangement with the management company, the Pedersons filed a complaint with the Human Relations Department.

Under the city’s fair housing laws, housing providers are required to make reasonable accommodations to tenants with disabilities who request them. Housing providers may refuse such requests if they can show that granting the request would constitute an undue hardship. In its investigation, the Human Relations Department determined that the request from the Pedersons was a reasonable one and should have been granted. After the determination was made the respondents entered into settlement negotiations with the Department.

In addition to the monetary settlement, the management company agreed to add 11 disability parking spaces to the two parking levels in the garage, to develop a new parking lot policy for assigning disability parking spaces for condominium residents, and to provide the Pedersons with a parking space near the entrance to the building.

The Kansas City Human Relations Department enforces the city’s housing and employment discrimination ordinances. Citizens who feel that they have been discriminated should contact the department at 816-513-1836.