Both the Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA) and the Fair Housing Act (FHA) set out laws that require housing providers to make reasonable accommodations for individuals with disabilities.
A reasonable accommodation is defined by Housing and Urban Development (HUD) as “a change, exception, or adjustment to a rule, policy, practice, or service that may be necessary for a person with a disability to have an equal opportunity to use and enjoy a dwelling, including public and common use spaces.”
One example of a reasonable accommodation in housing is if an individual requires a service or emotional support animal to assist with daily living, he or she can request the following:
- An exemption from a “no pets” policy
- The waiving of pet fees and/or a deposit
- An exemption from a “no pets” policy and the waiving of pet fees and/or a deposit
Under the FHA, service and emotional support animals are not “pets” so should not be subjected to “pet” policies.
Another example of a reasonable accommodation in housing is if an individual has a mobility disability, he or she can request the following:
- A ground floor dwelling
- A designated parking space in front of or close to the apartment
- A ground floor dwelling and a designated parking space in front of or close to the dwelling
Note that additional documentation such as a letter from a treating physician or psychiatrist could be required; however, the scope of documentation is limited and does not include medical/treatment records.
One more example of a reasonable accommodation in housing is if an individual is on a fixed income and receives that income on a date other than the first of the month, he or she can request a change in the date their rental payment is due.
In order to receive a reasonable accommodation, one must make a request for the accommodation. To avoid any miscommunication or misunderstanding, it is best to make your request for an accommodation in writing and ask that a written response to the request be received in a timely manner.
Additional information regarding reasonable accommodations can be found at the following links.
Christy Furqueron is an advocate at DRA. Email her at cfurqueron@disabilityrightsAR.org.