WILKES-BARRE – A man who depends on a wheelchair to get around believes that he was forced to move out of a low-income housing complex in Luzerne County because of his disability.
Newswatch 16 first spoke with Stephen Roberts back in September at Interfaith Heights, when neighboring Sherman Hills put up a new fence, essentially trapping the man.
Roberts said, he could no longer leave his ground level back door because of the fence, and he couldn’t get out the front door of the building at Interfaith Heights, because there were no ramps or elevators.
According to Roberts, promises of being relocated to an accessible apartment were never kept, and he was later forced to move out when he started to withhold rent.
“I would have stayed there forever, but I had no choice but to move out. If that fence wasn`t up, I`d have been good,” said Roberts. “I just need a ramp to get in with my wheelchair, and then I`m fine. I just use my butt to go up the steps, and down them.”
Mary Fuller said her grandson has moved back to the home where he was raised in Wilkes-Barre.
“It`s sad to see him like this. They`re trying to say they did not know he was handicapped,” said Fuller. “He`s been in a wheelchair since fifth grade.”
Roberts also said that he’s had trouble finding another apartment, because the property manager at Interfaith Heights has given him bad references.
Newswatch 16 has made several phone calls and stopped by the rental office at Interfaith Heights, but has not heard back from workers.
Officials with the PA Human Relations Commission told Newswatch 16 that there is an investigation into possible discrimination by Interfaith Heights and the complex’s owner, Value Asset Management.