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Housing (Disabilities) « Disabilities – Other Issues

The Fair Housing Act

  • The Act (Title 8).  It is the policy of the United States to provide, within constitutional limitations, for fair housing throughout the United States.
  • HUD (U.S. Department of Housing & Urban Development)
    HUD has played a lead role in administering the Fair Housing Act since its adoption in 1968. The 1988 amendments, however, have greatly increased the Department's enforcement role. First, the newly protected classes have proven significant sources of new complaints. Second, HUD's expanded enforcement role took the Department beyond investigation and conciliation into the area of mandatory enforcement. 
  • Section 8 Made Simple – Special Edition: Using the Housing Choice Voucher Program to End Chronic Homelessness (TAC) 
    This is a brand new update of TAC's popular Section 8 Made Simple guidebook – with updated tips and information to navigate the Housing Choice Voucher program.  The new Section 8 Made Simple explains how to use fair housing law and federal guidance to make the HCV program accessible to people with disabilities, and adds a new focus on helping those who are experiencing chronic homelessness.  It includes a step-by-step guidance on finding and securing housing through the HCV program, quick tips, definitions, and "Good to Know" highlights, and helpful suggestions for building partnerships and expanding outreach.

Articles & Publications

  • Accessibility and Universal Design
    Info and reports from the University of Iowa regarding accessibility and universal design in affordable housing in an urban setting and checklists that could be used for new construction or home modifications.
  • Accessibility Requirements for Buildings (HUD)
    The following provides information on the housing accessibility requirements for both private and Federally assisted housing.
  • Disabled Renters' Housing Rights (NOLO)
    If you have a disability, you should understand the laws when you rent a house or apartment. 
  • Grants for Home Modification: 16 Resources for Homeowners with Disabilities
    If you have concerns regarding the affordability of home modifications, you will be relieved to know that there are many ways to receive financial assistance to cover part or even all of your expenses. There are many organizations at national and state levels dedicated to providing financial support to citizens living with disabilities.
  • Home Organization for Seniors with Disabilities and the Newly Disabled
    For those who love and care for newly disabled senior adults, learning more about the disability is essential so you can help them learn to adapt. Here are the most common types of disabilities seniors may deal with, and some important information about them.
  • How Much Does it Cost to Remodel for Disability Accommodation? (Home Advisor)
    Home modifications can accommodate everyone from persons with mobility impairments to those with vision loss, hearing loss or even cognitive or developmental disabilities.
  • Meaning of Homeownership for Individuals with Developmental Disabilities (American Assn. on Mental Retardation – Aug. 2006)
    In-personal interviews were conducted with homeowners with disabilities for this study.
  • My Home, My Choice: Forging Ahead With Options for Persons With Disabilities in Windsor and Essex County (Marketwire – 3/29/11)
    Brought together through community collaboration and a steadfast desire to provide homes for those who need it most, more than 100 housing providers, government partners, and local parents with first-hand experience, shared personal success stories and discussed best practices for the future of the region today at the Fogolar Furlan. The day included an update from the City of Windsor on municipal and regional affordable and supportive housing initiatives. The day's attendees also learned how Killam Properties, a private developer and manager of rental properties in Halifax, partnered with Capital District Mental Health Program to help change lives by providing safe, affordable homes.
    Patti's Comment:  Windsor is very near and dear to my heart — I am sort of impressed by this…
  • Priced Out-2010 – The Housing Crisis for People with Disabilities (Technical Assistance Collaborative)
    Compellingly illustrates the affordable housing crisis affecting millions of vulnerable people with serious and long-term disabilities who rely on federal Supplemental Security Income (SSI) payments for their basic needs. This latest Priced Out report makes it clear that it is virtually impossible for people with disabilities receiving SSI to obtain decent, safe, affordable, and accessible housing in the community without a permanent housing subsidy.
  • Should They Stay or Should They Go: Home Modifications and Selling Your Home
    If you or someone you love is dealing with limited mobility, or if you are caring for a senior in your life, you may need to make some modifications to allow them to live comfortably and independently at home. As you consider these modifications, you will also want to consider the impact they have on the resale value of your home, should you need to sell your home at a later date. Here's what you need to know about home modifications and resale value.
  • Supported Housing Options and Caregiver Choices (Bella Online – 8/31/12)
    Families exploring housing options and support for adults with developmental disabilities may schedule speakers and consultants for a year's worth of meetings before they discover all the opportunities available in their communities. Options do vary considerably from state to state, and county to county. 
  • The Fair Housing Act: An Overview for People With Disabilities (Disability Rights Network of Pennsylvania)
    In 1988, Congress extended the federal Fair Housing Act (FHA) to protect people with disabilities against housing-related discrimination. This Fact Sheet provides a brief overview of the rights and remedies afforded by the FHA to people with disabilities. 
  • The Guide To Keeping Your Home Through Debilitating Disease (Mortgage Calculator)
    Chronic, and often debilitating diseases can be financially devastating for those who have the illnesses and their families. The financial burden related to these diseases is often too great, and many aren't able to keep their homes. The article is a resource guide to provide those suffering with a debilitating disease with the information they need to ensure they're able to keep their home as they seek and receive treatment.
  • The Ultimate Guide to Home Accommodations for Persons with Disabilities (REDFIN 4/7/16)
    This is a handy guide for people that have an older home that needs significant changes or for people who are looking for ways to make a newer home even more accessible to disabled needs. It will cover modifications for every area and room to make homes safer and more accessible.
  • Understanding the Fair Housing Amendments Act (United Spinal Assn.)
    To help both persons with disabilities and advocates better understand the FHAA. This document explains the law and how to make it work for people with disabilities.
  • Victory for Special Needs Trusts and Section 8 in DeCambre (6/20/16)
    On June 14th,  the First Circuit in the seminal (and very local) case DeCambre v. Brookline Housing Authority, reversed the decision of the lower court, and held that distributions of principal from a special needs trust are NOT counted as income for purposes of Section 8 calculations.
  • Worse Case Housing Needs of People with Disabilities (HUD.gov)
    Supplemental Findings of the Worst Case Housing Needs 2009: Report to Congress. This study presents national estimates of the number of households that include people with disabilities who have worst case housing needs and presents their characteristics.

Organizations & Services

  • Christmas In Action
    Providing hope and action to the low-income elderly and disabled with repairs to homes in communities all across the country.
  • Community Housing Network
    A community economic development organization that promotes the economic self-sufficiency and inclusion of people with special needs and people of low to very low income in their communities through home-ownership and access to affordable, desirable housing opportunities and other community resources. 
  • The Many Languages of HUD (U.S. Department of Housing & Urban Development)
    Have a question about buying a home, rental assistance or foreclosure but English is not your first language?  HUD can help with its new HUD Language Line, a live telephone interpretation service that will allow HUD staff to converse with the public in almost any language.

Resources: Websites & Blogs

  • A Safe Home For Your Family is in Your Hands (Disability Blog)
    The Home Safety Council offers these tips as a starting point for families to review each room in their home and make sure they have the basic safety measures in place.
  • ADA Homematch
    Homes and resources for people with disabilities.
  • Disability Rights in Housing (HUD.gov)
    Outlines rights that people with disabilities have in regards to public and private housing.
  • Housing Planning Library (Community Housing Network)
    If a person wants to explore their housing options, or plan for a family member in the future, these links to subjects about housing issues will provide the background and information necessary for a well informed decision and an opportunity to explore the various available choices.
  • Information for People With Disabilities (HUD)
    This page is designed to answer frequently asked questions on the housing rights of people with disabilities and the responsibilities of housing providers and building and design professionals under federal law.
  • Service or Companion Animals for Disabled Tenants
    If you’re a landlord, you are required to make “reasonable exceptions” to ensure disabled folks are not discriminated against. For example, even with a “no pets” policy, you may be required to make an exception to accommodate a service or companion animal.