Michael Broadnax, a pastor living in Brentwood, experienced a debilitating stroke last summer that placed him in a wheelchair. His wife Charlotte had a wheelchair ramp installed at their home to enable him to enter and exit the house.
The Homeowners Association (HOA) notified the Broadnax family via mail that they are required to remove the wheelchair ramp within 14 days and restore their home’s exterior. The HOA threatened to sue the Broadnaxes and forcefully deconstruct the wheelchair ramp at the expense of the Broadnaxes if they failed to comply with the demands laid out in the letter.
Mrs. Broadnax informed the local news station about the problem, because her husband is currently in the hospital recovering from brain surgery. She will have to pick him up from the hospital, and if the HOA destroys the ramp within 14 days, she will not have a way to bring him back into the house.
When the local news station contacted the HOA several times questioning them about their wheelchair ramp battle, they finally responded:
“The governing documents for this community require that all exterior improvements receive prior approval. A letter was sent to the owner regarding the ramp as no application for approval had been received. The board did not know the ramp was for the homeowner, Mr. Broadnax. The association would like to work with the owners on a compromise regarding the appearance and location of the ramp and compliance with any applicable codes.”
However, the tables could turn on the HOA, because Americans with accessibility issues are protected under the Americans with Disabilities Act.