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Fair Housing, Section 504 & Reasonable Accommodations. Department of Housing & Urban Development MPNAHRO June16, 2014. FAIR HOUSING LAWS. TITLE VI OF THE CIVIL RIGHTS ACT OF 1964 FAIR HOUSING ACT OF 1968, AS AMENDED IN 1988 SECTION 504 OF THE REHABILITATION ACT OF 1973(UFAS)

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fair housing section 504 reasonable accommodations

Fair Housing, Section 504 & Reasonable Accommodations

Department of Housing & Urban Development

MPNAHRO

June16, 2014

fair housing laws
FAIR HOUSING LAWS
  • TITLE VI OF THE CIVIL RIGHTS ACT OF 1964
  • FAIR HOUSING ACT OF 1968, AS AMENDED IN 1988
  • SECTION 504 OF THE REHABILITATION ACT OF 1973(UFAS)
  • THE AMERICANS WITH DISABILITIES ACT OF 1990 (ADA)
section 504 compared to the fair housing act
Section 504 Compared to the Fair Housing Act
  • Fair Housing Act - Discrimination - Seven Federally Protected Classes. Includes Disability.
  • Section 504 – Accessibility in Federally Funded Projects - Programs and Physical facilities.
discrimination
Discrimination

Simply put, discrimination means treating someone differently based on x, y or z.

protected classes
PROTECTED CLASSES
  • RACE
  • COLOR
  • RELIGION
  • NATIONAL ORIGIN
  • SEX
  • FAMILIAL STATUS
  • DISABILITY
discrimination based on national origin
Discrimination Based on National Origin
  • The Fair Housing Act prohibits discrimination based on national origin.
  • Discrimination is prohibited based either upon the country of an individual's birth or from where his or her ancestors originated.

Common issues:

    • Limited English proficiency
    • Citizenship, legal resident, and

immigration

familial status
Familial Status
  • Persons under the age of 18 living with:
    • A parent or legal custodian
    • The designee of a parent or custodian with written permission
  • Pregnant women
  • Persons in the process of securing legal custody
discrimination based on familial status
Discrimination Based on Familial Status
  • The Fair Housing Act prohibits discrimination in housing against families with children under 18.
  • This means it is unlawful to:
    • Outright deny housing to families with children
    • Impose any special requirements or conditions on tenants with children

For example, a landlord may not:

    • Locate families with children in any single portion of a complex
    • Place an unreasonable restriction on the total number of persons who may reside in a dwelling
    • Limit their access to recreational services provided to other tenants
familial status occupancy standards
Familial Status:OCCUPANCY STANDARDS

adopt reasonable occupancy standards

to limit the number of persons who can reside in a unit

familial status occupancy standards1
Familial Status:OCCUPANCY STANDARDS

adopt occupancy standards

(1) to exclude families with children.

(2) unreasonably limit the ability of families with children to obtain housing.

occupancy scenario
Occupancy Scenario

Policy states:

  • Two persons per bedroom
  • Studios – 1 person
  • Children over the Age of 5 of the opposite sex must have separate bedrooms.
  • Children and parents cannot share rooms
  • What’s wrong?
fair housing unlawful activity
Fair Housing Unlawful Activity
  • Failure to rent or sell a dwelling when a bona fide offer has been made, where the refusal is based on one of the protected classes
  • Discriminatory Terms and Conditions
  • Discriminatory Advertising
  • Falsely Denying Housing is Available
fair housing
Fair Housing

What is Allowed?

slide17
Essential Terms of Tenancy

Meeting terms

Of the lease

1)Pay the rent on time

2) Maintain the unit

3) Obey the rules

applicant inquiries
Applicant Inquiries
  • Make Policies Clear
  • Apply Them Consistently

To All Applicants

application intake waiting lists
Application Intake & Waiting Lists
  • Application Process without discrimination.
  • Does application ask if a person is disabled and needs an Accommodation?
  • Accessible Offices & Materials.
  • Do you provide reasonable accommodation information with application, move-in packets and at recertification?
  • Waiting lists – date and time stamped. Include information regarding disability requirements and need for accessible unit.
tenant selection assignment
Tenant Selection & Assignment
  • Tenant Selection Plan – Eligibility & Screening Criteria.
  • Review eligibility requirements to ensure not discriminatory.
  • Screening Criteria – determine eligible household has the ability to pay rent on time and meet requirements of the lease and do not include discriminatory criteria.
screening criteria
Screening Criteria
  • Drug Abuse and other Criminal Activity
  • Credit History
  • Rental History
  • Housekeeping Habits
  • Mitigating Circumstances
prohibited screening criteria
Prohibited Screening Criteria

Criteria that could be discriminatory, such as:

  • Requiring Medical Evaluation or Treatment
  • Disability Status
  • Requiring Independent Living
discrimination prohibited
Discrimination Prohibited
  • No qualified person with a disability shall, solely on the basis of disability be excluded from participation in, be denied the benefits of, or otherwise be subjected to discrimination under any program or activity that receives Federal Financial assistance.
definition of a person with disability
Definition of a Person with Disability
  • A person who has a physical or mental impairment that substantially limits one or more major life activity, has a record of such an impairment, or regarded as having such impairment.
  • Doesn’t include - Current drug and alcohol abuse.
persons with disabilities
Persons with Disabilities

Major Life Activities:

  • Seeing Hearing
  • Walking Breathing
  • Learning Speaking
  • Performing Manual Taking Care

Tasks of one’s Self

section 504 requirements
Section 504 Requirements

Section 504 Coordinator

Effective Communication Policy

Section 504 Notice

Grievance Procedure

Transfer Policy

Most Integrated Setting

Occupancy Accessible Units

Distribution of Accessible Units

slide28
REASONABLE ACCOMMODATIONS

&

REASONABLE MODIFICATIONS

reasonable accommodations
Reasonable Accommodations
  • A reasonable accommodation is 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.
requesting an accommodation
Requesting an Accommodation
  • A reasonable accommodation must be requested.
  • Requests can be made at any time, by person with disability, family member or by someone else who is acting on their behalf.
  • A request does not have to be in writing it can be orally or by any other effective method.
  • Housing provider should place request in writing and document outcome.
applying the principles
Applying the principles …
  • An oral request is enough – A written request may not be required.
  • The process should be quick and easy and should involve determining the answers to two questions:

1.) Does the requester have a disability?

2.) Does the requester have a disability-related need for the reasonable accommodation?

  • Determinations should be made on a case-by-case basis.
evaluating reasonable accommodation requests
EVALUATING REASONABLE ACCOMMODATION REQUESTS

Housing providers must evaluate all requests for reasonable accommodations by appyling the general principals.

housing providers responsibility
Housing Providers Responsibility

Engaging in an interactive dialogue:

It is necessary, when an applicant or a tenant requests an accommodation or modification, to engage in an interactive dialogue. One cannot simply refuse a request for a reasonable accommodation or modification. The interactive dialogue is an opportunity to become educated about the requester’s needs and to find an effective and reasonable solution for the issue at hand.

verifying reasonable accommodations
Verifying Reasonable Accommodations
  • May request documentation of the need – only to extent necessary to verify they have a disability and if the requested accommodation is needed.
  • Apparent vs. non-apparent disability.
  • May not acquire confidential medical records or inquire into the nature or severity of persons disability.
verifying reasonable accommodations1
Verifying Reasonable Accommodations
  • Verification of disability and need for accommodation can be from any qualified professional cannot require a medical doctor.
  • The professional can be: medical provider; Health Care provider; professional representing a social service agency; disability agency or rehab clinic or any other reliable source who is familiar with the individual and his or her disability related needs.
what is reasonable
What is Reasonable?
  • For an accommodation to be reasonable there must be an identifiable relationship or nexus between the requested accommodation and the individual’s disability.
  • The requested accommodation should allow the individual with disabilities to use and enjoy the dwelling unit.
what is reasonable cont
What is Reasonable Cont.
  • The requested accommodation must be reasonable:

*Does not impose an undue financial and administrative burden on housing provider.

*Does not fundamentally alter the nature of the housing providers operations.

reasonable modifications
Reasonable Modifications
  • An accommodation may require a structural modification to unit or common area.
  • Federally subsidized recipients are required to make and pay for the modifications.
  • Difference between Fair Housing Act and Section 504 – who pays.
  • Do not always have to approve if would result in undue financial and administrative burden.
reasonable accommodation modification examples
Reasonable Accommodation & Modification Examples

A tenant with a mental disability is being evicted for violating community rules – request for accommodation to stop eviction to allow for time to acquire medical treatment.

A tenant becomes

disabled and requests

installation of a ramp.

case study
Case Study

The XYZ Housing Authority has a tenant with disabilities living in a unit that is not accessible and has a thick carpet with a pad and a variety of other features that hinder the tenant from full use of the dwelling. The tenant requests a transfer to an accessible unit. After several other tenants have been transferred the tenant is moved. He is charged $500 to replace the carpet in his previous unit due to wear and tear and it cannot be cleaned. This is also the amount of the transfer fee.

Lawful or Unlawful?

case study1
Case Study

This case Unlawful

The tenant should not have been charged the $500. The HA should have removed the pad under the carpet in the in accessible unit for the person to be able to better utilize the dwelling, the tenant had asked for it to be removed numerous times.

Discussion items: $500 damage or transfer fee? Length of time and being passed over for transfer? Did they have a transfer list?

slide42
Quiz

Under Section 504 is it okay to charge an individual with disabilities for the cost of an interpreter? Allow the person with a disability to use a child to interpret?

Does a pregnant women meet the definition of a person with a disability?

If a person has been a drug addict can they meet the definition of a person with a disability?

slide43
Quiz

If the housing provider does not have any accessible units can the provider deny individuals with disabilities from applying?

If the Resident Advisory Board meets in a building that is not accessible, since it is historic, can the housing provider deny persons with disabilities membership on the Board?

reasonable accommodations quiz
Reasonable AccommodationsQuiz
  • Do reasonable accommodation requests have to be made in writing? By the person with the disability?
  • Do verifications of a disability and a need for a reasonable accommodation have to be from a licensed medical provider?
  • Can a request be turned down if there is not a nexus between the type of disability and the requested accommodation?
reasonable accommodations quiz1
Reasonable AccommodationsQuiz
  • Does the housing provider have to pay for a reasonable modification? When don’t they?
  • Does a housing provider have to approve a request for an accessible parking space if none of the parking is assigned?
reasonable accommodation quiz
Reasonable Accommodation Quiz
  • Can the housing provider require a tenant to move into an accessible unit when one is available if the disabled tenant is currently in an non-accessible unit?
  • Can a housing provider require a tenant to provide a name of a co-sponsor to prove that they can live independently?
reasonable accommodation quiz1
Reasonable Accommodation Quiz
  • Can housing providers charge a tenant with a disability to transfer to an accessible unit from a unit that is not accessible?
  • Can a housing provider deny a request that entails taking the tenant to the store and assisting them with their shopping? If so, why?
to file a fair housing complaint
To File A Fair Housing Complaint
  • You can file a fair housing complaint by using HUD’s On Line Form accessible through our Web site

http:www.hud.gov

  • You can call toll free in Denver

1-800-877-7353

  • File with a FHIP Agency if Applicable
remedies for discrimination
REMEDIES FOR DISCRIMINATION
  • ACTUAL ECONOMIC DAMAGES
  • COMPENSATION FOR PAIN AND SUFFERING AND NON-ECONOMIC INJURY
  • ATTORNEYS FEES
  • CIVIL PENALTIES
  • PUNITIVE DAMAGES
fair housing1
Fair Housing:

It’s Not an Option

Its the Law!

slide52
For more information contact:

Michele Hutchins, Equal Opportunity Specialist

Office of Fair Housing & Equal Opportunity

U.S. Department of Housing & Urban Development 125 S. State Street, Room 3001

Salt Lake City, UT 84138

(801) 524-6097-Direct line

(801) 524-6909-TDD/TTY line

1-800-877-7353 – Denver Toll Free

email: [email protected]

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