Skip to comments.Virginia Couple Threatened With Eviction for Holding Bible Study File Complaint With HUD
Posted on 10/14/2018 8:06:03 PM PDT by SeekAndFind
An elderly couple facing a possible eviction from a Virginia-based retirement community for hosting a Bible study has taken their fight to the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development.
In July, the Community Realty Company sent a notice to Kenneth and Liv Hauge, who live at the Evergreens at Smith Run in Fredericksburg, informing them that they must either stop holding Bible study or be evicted.
First Liberty Institute, a conservative law firm representing the Hauges, filed a complaint with HUD on Tuesday, arguing that "CRC and Evergreens' actions violate the Fair Housing Act and its accompanying regulations."
"The totality of CRC and Evergreens' treatment of the Hauges, the notice, and the policy manifest both discriminatory intent and discriminatory impact relating to the Hauges' continued rental of a dwelling and access to the common facilities related to it, thus violating the FHA's prohibitions against religious discrimination in housing," read the complaint.
Lea Patterson, associate counsel for First Liberty, said in a statement released Thursday that she considered the treatment of the Hauges to be "shameful."
"It is both shameful and illegal to threaten elderly residents with eviction simply for holding a Bible study," said Patterson.
"Treating residents unequally simply out of hostility to religion violates federal law and taints Virginia's long history of religious freedom."
A semi-retired Lutheran minister who has resided at the Evergreens with his wife since January 2017, Hauge began holding a Wednesday evening Bible study at an on-site community room.
On July 23, the Hauges received a "Notice to Cure Default or Quit" letter from their landlord, informing them that they had to cease holding the Bible study or face eviction.
According to the notice, their Bible study "has caused, and continues to cause, serious and substantial disturbances with other residents in the community."
These included allegations that the weekly study involved "operating an unauthorized business" and "interfering with other residents' use of the community facilities."
"Landlord has received a series of complaints over the past several months regarding your conduct at the community," read the notice. "Landlord has also learned that you show religious films on Sunday evenings, followed by a group discussion on the religious film. This activity has resulted in complaints to Landlord similar to those related to the Bible study class."
In August, First Liberty sent a letter of complaint to an attorney representing CRC and the Evergreens demanding that the Hauges be allowed to continue their Bible study.
For the time being, the Hauges have agreed to halt their Bible study to avoid being evicted by the end of August, with the hopes of restarting it once their complaint is resolved.
Is there more to this story? If not, I don’t get it.
I hope the homeowners association come to its senses and will leave them alone.
HOA Boards are the last refuge for tyrants and despots.
So what happened to them in August, were they evicted, given more time, or allowed to continue the meetings?
I expected the major complaint to be that their Bible Study guests were taking the parking spots assigned to actual residents. I have seen this sort of thing happen, it’s disruptive and inconsiderate, if that is truly a problem.
Any evidence at all that the Bible study interferes with the property rights of other residents? To much noise? Too big for the facilty? Messy?
What if the Muslims want to do it next-—then the Hindus etc?
This could get interesting.
I wonder if they are monopolizing the community room and making it difficult for other people to book it or gather near the group?
Uh, do you lose your Constitutional rights when you rent from this Virginia-based retirement community?
Gee. Trot out the lions. Get thee to the arena.
I live in a formerly red-burg redneck flyover area which has the misfortune of having a 500 unit development with an HOA.
The Township meetings are a hoot. I have never seen such a ball of insipid snowflakes as the folks in the HOA development who expect someone—anyone—to do everything for them.
Four inch trees pushing up the sidewalks? They expect the Township or the HOA to cut them down. I could do it myself with a pruning saw but these helpless hominids probably never heard of such a tool.
Speaking of tools, they ought to look in the mirror.
Okay, how many people? How many cars? Is this impact? Is there other use of the facility that is precluded? Are the charging (therefore a business)? Are they noisy? What are they interrupting? The article is missing lots and lots of details.
ALL THE WAY TO THE KAVANAUGH COURT. We must establish once and for all that an individual’s natural rights are not void simply because one lives in government-supported housing. They’ve tried this with both 1st & 2nd Amendment rights.
Is this a few friends getting together? Or 75 cars up and down the block?
“Hauge began holding a Wednesday evening Bible study at an on-site community room. “
Aren’t community rooms are exactly for meetings?
Of, the horror!!!!!
“HOA Boards are the last refuge for tyrants and despots.”
They most certainly are, filled with little hitlers.
Me either. I kept waiting to read about noise complaints or parking issues...but nothing.
No mention of an HOA in the article. Also, an HOA may hold a lot of ways to enforce their rules but “eviction” is not one of those powers. Note that the “O” in HOA stands for “owner” and words mean things. HOA authority is governed by state laws and are usually limited at the worst to being able to place liens against the property to encumber future sale. This case is one where the litigant is renting.
Of course, given the requirement to pay taxes on something you “own” under penalty of law is an entirely another conversation.
“HOA Boards are the last refuge for tyrants and despots.”
That’s why I will never live anywhere where they are part of the deal.
It shouldn’t become interesting at all. Each group schedules the Common, has their little get-together, cleans up and leaves. Done. If you don’t like it, don’t go. I wouldn’t be anywhere near the place for a birthday party for an eight-year-old, and I wouldn’t file a noise complaint either.
Maybe it would get dicey when there are more requests for time than there is time available, or everybody wants Saturday evening, but that’s not the case here. This looks like pure discrimination.
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