Various federal laws require housing providers to make reasonable accommodations and reasonable modifications for individuals with disabilities. Federal nondiscrimination laws that protect against disability discrimination cover not only tenants and home seekers with disabilities, but also buyers and renters without disabilities who live or are associated with individuals with disabilities. These laws also prohibit housing providers from refusing residency to persons with disabilities, or placing conditions on their residency, because they require reasonable accommodations or modifications.

Reasonable Accommodations

A “reasonable accommodation” is a change to the 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

Any change in the way things are customarily done that enables a person with disabilities to enjoy housing opportunities or to meet program requirements is a reasonable accommodation. In other words, reasonable accommodations eliminate barriers that prevent persons with disabilities from fully participating in housing opportunities, including both private housing and in federally-assisted programs or activities. Housing providers may not require persons with disabilities to pay extra fees or deposits or place any other special conditions or requirements as a condition of receiving a reasonable accommodation.

Since rules, policies, practices, and services may have a different effect on persons with disabilities than on other persons, treating persons with disabilities exactly the same as others will sometimes deny persons with disabilities an equal opportunity to enjoy a dwelling or participate in the program. Not all persons with disabilities will have a need to request a reasonable accommodation. However, all persons with disabilities have a right to request or be provided a reasonable accommodation at any time.

Reasonable Modifications

Under the Fair Housing Act, a reasonable modification is a structural change made to existing premises, occupied or to be occupied by a person with a disability, in order to afford such person full enjoyment of the premises. Reasonable modifications can include structural changes to interiors and exteriors of dwellings and to common and public use areas. Examples include the installation of a ramp into a building, lowering the entry threshold of a unit, or the installation of grab bars in a bathroom. Under the Fair Housing Act, prohibited discrimination includes a refusal to permit, at the expense of the person with a disability, reasonable modifications of existing premises occupied or to be occupied by such person if such modifications may be necessary to afford such person full enjoyment of the premises.

If you think you would benefit from a Reasonable Accommodation or Modification, please contact our office. We are here to help!

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Publications

Fair Housing Resource Center`s goals are to ensure that all individuals have the information that they need to ensure their housing rights. Below are printable brochures that provide an array of information that is not available on our website. If you would like copies of these brochures please contact us and we will be happy to send you more information.