A Polk County mother is fighting a senior living community after the board wouldn’t allow her to move in with her daughter with special needs.
Linda Haase says she couldn’t wait to move into Skyview Estates. The quiet, gated mobile home community only allows people over the age 55 to move in. If the resident’s spouse or dependent is in the home, the person must be 45 or older.
But Haase has a 26-year-old daughter named Nikole with cerebral palsy. Nicole can’t live alone, and needs her mother for care.
"The main reason I want to live there is because my family’s there. My parents are there, my sister’s there, my brother-in-laws are there," Haase said.
Haase says the board at Skyview Estates refuses to let her move in, even after she filed a complaint detailing her daughter’s condition.
In fact, board members recently met and approved hiring a lawyer to fight the complaint.
Haase believes the board of the community is violating the Fair Housing Act.
Board members would not talk to Bay News 9 for comment, but at the recent meeting, some expressed concern over keeping their senior living status. Some community members worry if they break the rules and let one person in, the whole community will change.
The Florida Commission on Human Relations can’t comment on specific cases. But a lawyer there tells Bay News 9 that the Fair Housing Act requires housing providers, including condominium associations, to make reasonable accommodations to their policies. That could include a waiver of occupancy or age limits in order to approve a live-in caregiver for a disabled resident.
A final decision should come down this summer on whether Haase will be allowed to move in.