"Disability Rights in Housing
Requires housing providers to make reasonable accommodations for persons with disabilities. A reasonable accommodation is a change in rules, policies, practices, or services so that a person with a disability will have an equal opportunity to use and enjoy a dwelling unit or common space. A housing provider should do everything s/he can to assist, but s/he is not required to make changes that would fundamentally alter the program or create an undue financial and administrative burden. Reasonable accommodations may be necessary at all stages of the housing process, including application, tenancy, or to prevent eviction.
Example: A housing provider would make a reasonable accommodation for a tenant with mobility impairment by fulfilling the tenant's request for a reserved parking space in front of the entrance to their unit, even though all parking is unreserved.
- Requires housing providers to allow persons with disabilities to make reasonable modifications. A reasonable modification is a structural modification that is made to allow persons with disabilities the full enjoyment of the housing and related facilities.
Examples of a reasonable modification would include allowing a person with a disability to: install a ramp into a building, lower the entry threshold of a unit, or install grab bars in a bathroom. Learn More About Reasonable Accomodations
Reasonable modifications are usually made at the resident's expense. However, there are resources available for helping fund building modifications. Additionally, if you live in Federally assisted housing the housing provider may be required to pay for the modification if it does not amount to an undue financial and administrative burden. For more information, see the Reasonable Accommodations section of the Section 504 Frequently Asked Questions page.
- Requires that new covered multifamily housing be designed and constructed to be accessible. In covered multifamily housing consisting of 4 or more units with an elevator built for first occupancy after March 13, 1991, all units must comply with the following seven design and construction requirements of the Fair Housing Act:
- Accessible Entrance on an Accessible Route
- Accessible Public and Common-Use Areas
- Usable Doors
- Accessible Route Into and Through the Dwelling Unit
- Accessible Light Switches, Electrical Outlets, Thermostats, and Environmental Controls
- Reinforced Walls in Bathrooms
- Usable Kitchens and Bathrooms
In covered multifamily housing without an elevator that consists of 4 or more units built for first occupancy after March 13, 1991, all ground floor units must comply with the Fair Housing Act seven design and construction requirements.
For information on how to comply with the physical accessibility requirements of the Fair Housing Act, visit the Fair Housing Accessibility FIRST Web site.
These requirements apply to most public and private housing. However, there are limited exemptions for owner-occupied buildings with no more than four units, single-family housing sold or rented without the use of a broker, and housing operated by organizations and private clubs that limit occupancy to members.
If you live in Federally assisted multifamily housing consisting of 5 or more units, 5 percent of these units (or at least one unit whichever is greater) must meet more stringent physical accessibility requirements. Additionally, 2 percent of units (or at least one unit whichever is greater) must be accessible for persons with visual or hearing disabilities. For more information, visit Section 504 Questions and Answers.
People with Disabilities in Federally Assisted Housing: Federal law makes it illegal for an otherwise qualified individual with a disability to be excluded, solely because of his or her disability, from programs receiving federal financial assistance. For more information on the rights of persons with disabilities in federally assisted housing as well as the responsibilities of housing providers who receive federal financial assistance, visit our Section 504: Disability Rights in HUD Programs site." http://portal.hud.gov/hudportal/HUD?src=/program_offices/fair_housing_equal_opp/disabilities/inhousing