Federal Law Protects Homes For Recovering Addicts

Question: The CC&Rs that govern our Chandler community restrict the homes to a single-family dwelling, and prohibit any “business activity.” A home in our community has recently been remodeled and converted into a halfway-house for six recovering alcoholics and drug addicts. The result has been a loss in property value of neighboring homes, e.g., one of the neighboring homes sold for almost $400,000 less than appraised value because of this halfway-house. At the last HOA meeting we were told that nothing could be done about this halfway house because of protection under The Fair Housing Act. Is that correct?

Answer: Yes. Under the Fair Housing Act, the care of individuals who qualify for “disability” protection includes homes for recovering alcoholics and drug addicts. Public regulation by zoning, and private regulation by CC&Rs, are both subordinate to the Fair Housing Act.

Note: An appraiser is not allowed to appraise a home based on a neighboring home being in a protected class such as a “disability.”

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