Older deaf may love being in a care environment where all others are deaf too, but, the Feds say it is unequal and unfair, as it is excluding other disabled people, now residents are worried they may be evicted so a fairer balance is seen..... Seems equality IS a double edged sword.... The end of deaf-only areas ?
It's a one-of-kind award winning Valley community making a big difference in the lives of the disabled. But now, some residents of the Apache ASL Trails senior living complex in Tempe are worried that the federal government will soon ask them to move out. The U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development claims that Apache ASL Trails is violating the Fair Housing Act by having too many deaf people in the same complex.
The complex is accused of discriminating against other disabled and non-disabled people by not giving them an equal shot to live there. The unique 75-unit facility which opened last year has received national recognition as one of the country's best special-needs housing projects. Each room is specially designed to help deaf residents. Strobe lights and visual cues are built in everywhere, including door bells and fire alarms.
Property Manager Linda Russell told CBS5 that they don't discriminate against anyone, but now, a number of residents are worried the federal government will force them to move out. "We would like to see the federal government recognize our rights of choice, where we have the right to choose where we want to live," said Russell. "It should not be the government's prerogative to dictate where deaf residents can and cannot live."
Russell said that about 90 percent of the units are rented out to someone who's deaf, but they have always welcomed non-disabled applicants. Russell can't understand why the federal government would have a problem with a place that's making the lives of the hearing impaired better.
"We need to allow them the opportunity to enjoy their golden years in peace and quietness and happiness," said Russell. A HUD official told CBS5 that none of the deaf residents are on the verge of eviction.