I am a member of a housing cooperative. Next door lives a mother, who is a member, and her 55 year old son, who is not a member. Her son is very unstable, but the cooperative and the police can do nothing until he actually breaks the law. The women in the neighborhood and I are very uncomfortable with his living here. My question is: once the mother passes away, can the cooperative refuse him membership even if he is financially qualified? The cooperative feels that they can be sued for discrimination if they refuse him.
1 Answer from Attorneys
The last time I looked the Fair Housing Act applied to cooperatives, and people with legitimate disabilities can not be discriminated against. But when you say "very unstable", that is NOT a disability. Something like diagnosed schizophrenia would be, and dealing with that kind of situation requires legal appropriateness. PS one of the reasons we have laws against various kinds of discrimination is that people's "feelings" generally can't be used as a basis to discriminate..