In Washington, D.C., the historic preservation office will not allow a ramp to the front door of a 1930s rowhouse, so elderly residents must live in the basement that has access to a back alley.
The city's architectural historian says, "repeating porches of similar height and depth create a notable pattern and rhythm" along the Mount Pleasant street. The Lucas family, who have lived in their house for 47 years, have presented multiple ramp designs to the City to allow them to use the front door of their house. "But each time Lucas tried, the city came up with more objections. And so, at ages 90 and 87, Cornelius and Merry Lucas remain stuck in their basement rooms, able to come and go only through a back door that opens onto an alleyway."
"In December HUD filed a complaint against the city government, alleging that by denying the Lucas family permission to install a ramp, the city is violating anti-discrimination laws."