Philip Cusumano has filed a disability discrimination lawsuit, claiming violations of the federal Fair Housing Act, against the Hartland Meadows mobile home community in Livingston County. Mr. Cusumano is legally blind and uses a wheelchair. He contacted the Fair Housing Center in April 2014 to report that Hartland Meadows’ “no parking on sidewalk” rule was not enforced. This made traveling around the community dangerous and denied him access to common areas, including his mailbox.
Mr. Cusumano also reported to FHC staff that in one instance when “the sidewalks were blocked by cars; I couldn’t get around the cars on the sidewalk in my wheelchair, so I had to go on the road, where I was nearly hit by a car.”
Mr. Cusumano and his wife, Vicki, have several photographs of cars parked on sidewalks throughout Hartland Meadows. Fair Housing Center staff investigated the property and also witnessed numerous cars on sidewalks.
Hartland Meadows’ policy states that residents are not to park on the sidewalks. Three off-street parking spaces are provided to each home site. According to the lawsuit, the policy is not enforced.
The Fair Housing Center sent multiple letters to Hartland Meadows urging the enforcement of the rule that prevents parking on sidewalks. However, when the rule was still not enforced effectively, the FHC referred Mr. Cusumano to Cooperating Attorney Steve Tomkowiak for litigation. The case was filed by FHC Cooperating Attorney Steve Tomkowiak on August 14, 2014, assigned to the Honorable Matthew F. Leitman, and settled on August 23, 2016.