Disabled man says complex won't move him to first-floor apartment

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OSCEOLA COUNTY, Fla. —

A disabled St. Cloud man is losing the use of his legs, and he said his apartment complex refused to move him to a first-floor unit.

Michael Walendzuk said he injured his spine when he fell off of a roof at a construction job.

Walendzuk said he's now losing the use of his legs more and more each month.

He said his doctor told him he will eventually be paralyzed.

Walendzuk said all he wants is a downstairs apartment so he will no longer have to climb the 14 steps to get in or out of his home.

"I feel trapped. Sometimes I'm trapped in there," he said.

Walendzuk said he's been trying to get an apartment on the first floor for four months.

However, the manager recently told him that his credit was not good enough to change apartments, even though the rent would be the same.

Walendzuk admitted his credit was hurt while he was out of work with his spinal injury.

He now receives disability assistance and said he pays his rent every month.

"I asked her, 'Are you aware of my disability? I'm falling down.' She said, 'I'm well aware of your disability. That's corporate decision,'" he said.

The Fair Housing Act requires housing providers to make "reasonable accommodations for persons with disabilities."

"It is certainly a reasonable request for a move from a second floor apartment to a first floor apartment to accommodate his disabilities. This is what the Fair Housing Act was designed for," said WFTV legal analyst Bill Sheaffer.

WFTV asked the manager at the St. Cloud Village why they won't accommodate Walendzuk.

The manager said, "We have no comment at this time."

"I need help. Every day is a struggle," Walendzuk said.

The corporate office for Dominium, the company that runs the complex, later sent a statement, reading "Mr. Walendzuk is first on the waiting list for a one bedroom apartment and has been informed of such, both verbally and in writing."

Federal housing authorities said they're looking into the situation.