Local News


Make-A-Wish family forced out of home

Posted at 2:23 AM, Nov 21, 2017
and last updated 2017-11-21 05:23:11-05

A family is being forced to find a new place to live just weeks before the holidays, and they're worried about how it could affect their child with autism. 

Amy McDermott and her family live in an apartment in Sportsman's Royal Manor on Boulder Highway and Tropicana.

McDermott's 12-year-old son, Bubba, has autism and recently was honored as "Make-A-Wish" child of the month. Now, he and his family are wishing they could stop a big life change. 

"The effects on him are going to be pretty catastrophic," McDermott said. 

A few days ago, the family was given an eviction notice. McDermott said an employee told her she failed a background check. 

"I'm not a felon, I'm just mom," she said. 

13 Action News did some digging and found McDermott's criminal history only shows minor offenses, like traffic violations, misdemeanors, and charges that were dismissed years ago. 

"I've been here over a year, I'm paying rent on time, I'm not bothering anyone," she said. 

McDermott also wanted to know why a background check was run more than a year after she'd moved in. 

Sportsman's Royal Manor sent the following statement to 13 Action News: 

Sportsman's Royal Manor Management is working hard to run a clean, nice property. Our background check system has become stricter in the past 8-10 months. Current and perspective tenants and guests are all run through the background check system.

30 Day No Cause notices are a legal eviction notice for a month to month stay. Management does not give legal advice on the process.

We are in the business of renting units, we certainly do not evict tenants unless we feel it is needed.

The U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development sets guidelines when it comes to housing providers using criminal records. A memo issued in 2016 states, "Policies that exclude persons based on criminal history must be tailored to serve the housing provider’s substantial, legitimate, nondiscriminatory interest and take into consideration such factors as the type of the crime and the length of the time since conviction. Where a policy or practice excludes individuals with only certain types of convictions, a housing provider will still bear the burden of proving that any discriminatory effect caused by such policy or practice is justified. Such a determination must be made on a case-by-case basis." 

Bubba's family could contest their eviction in court or file a complaint with HUD.