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HOA in Arizona forcing teen who lost both parents out of 55+ community

Collin Clabaugh and his grandmother
Posted at 6:02 PM, Jan 14, 2020
and last updated 2020-01-16 20:24:04-05

PRESCOTT, AZ — An Arizona homeowners association says they are now working with the grandparents of a 15-year-old boy to resolve the teen's living situation after the family's story went viral.

Collin Clabaugh's family tells ABC15 that their grandson came to live with them in their 55+ community in Prescott after both his parents died two weeks apart.

“It’s amazing how one rule is more important than one person’s life,” said Melodie Passmore, Clabaugh's grandmother.

Passmore said she received an HOA letter from her community in Prescott that gives the family a deadline of June to find other accommodations for Clabaugh.

“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.”

Clabaugh said his transition to Prescott from California has helped him in his grieving, but he said no one is showing compassion.

“It just seems so heartless that even though we’ve explained our whole situation, it has to be the rule that dictates everything, it can’t be someone's life,” said Clabaugh.

In a letter to the Passmores from the lawyers for the Gardens at Willow Creek HOA, they said, “The board must balance the interest of all parties involved, not just the Passmores…”

The Passmores say they moved into the HOA community as their final home four years ago. They say Clabaugh did not enter the home until the end of 2018 after the passing of his parents.

In a statement to ABC15 on Tuesday, the board said that not enforcing the age requirement could set them up for legal problems.

Passmore said they were planning to speak with a real estate agent, and would possibly leave on their own terms if necessary, but now in their 70s, moving would be hard for them.

She also had strong words for the HOA and board.

“I’ve stepped in things I find nicer than you people,” she said.

But now, a possible resolution to the family's situation may be on the horizon.

In an updated statement from the HOA's lawyer on Wednesday, the board has said, "The Gardens at Willow Creek legal counsel and legal counsel for the Passmores have been in contact, and the board is working with the Passmores to resolve this matter."

Melodie Passmore tells ABC15 it is unclear as of yet what type of resolution the HOA is aiming to come to.