Grandparents Furious After HOA Won't Let Orphaned Grandson Live With Them

By Bill Galluccio

January 15, 2020

A housing association in Arizona is under fire after refusing to allow an orphaned 15-year-old boy to move in with his grandparentsCollin Clabaugh lost both of his parents just two weeks apart. His mother died in the hospital after a long battle with an illness, and then his father committed suicide.

After tragically losing both parents, Collin moved in with his grandparents at The Gardens at Willow Creek in Prescott. While the community is for people who are over the age of 55, Melodie Passmore was hoping the HOA would make an exception for her grandson due to the extenuating circumstances. When Passmore received a letter saying that Collin could not move in with them and must find someplace else to live by June, she was livid.

"We didn't plan this. We didn't go out one day and say, 'Hey, let's have Clay kill himself, and let's have Bonnie die, and we'll take Collin in,'" said Passmore. "And to heck with the HOA. It's not the way it was planned."

Collin is upset and blasted the HOA for valuing their rules over someone's life.

"It just seems so heartless that even though we've explained our whole situation and everything, that they still - it has to be the rule that dictates everything. It can't be someone's life," Collin said.

The board issued a statement to ABC15 defending their decision. They explained that allowing Collin to stay there could open them up to legal problems.

"The Board appreciates the difficulty of these circumstances but must balance the interests of all parties involved, the Passmores, and all other owners who purchased property in an age-restricted community expecting the age restrictions to be followed," the board wrote. "Generally, community associations that fail to enforce their residency age restrictions leave themselves open to legal claims from other residents and could even endanger the ability of the association to remain an age-restricted community. "

The Passsmores are unsure about what they will do next. They have contacted a real estate agent, but are worried about the stress of having to find a new place to live.

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