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Our Position

housing_-_stockvault-high-rise-apartment-building106887Many people with mental or physical disabilities face tremendous difficulties in getting and keeping adequate housing. They face obstacles like discrimination, inaccessible construction and unaffordable housing.

NDRN supports increases in affordable housing options that are integrated in the community – including home ownership and rental housing – to meet the growing unmet needs of people with disabilities and their families.


What We Do

In Washington, DC, NDRN is working with Congress to:

  • Significantly increase funding for – and protect the integrity of – generic and disability-specific housing programs, including the Section 811 Supportive Housing for Persons with Disabilities program.
  • Ensure that nonprofit disability organizations can administer tenant-based rental assistance.
  • Reject efforts to block grant or cut funding for the Section 8 tenant-based rental assistance program.
  • Enact National Housing Trust Fund/Affordable Housing Fund legislation – with funding targeted at those with the lowest incomes – in order to increase the availability of affordable and accessible housing for people with disabilities.
  • Require that projects developed through the Low Income Housing Tax Credit comply with design standards identical to those required by Section 504 of the Rehabilitation Act.
  • Oppose efforts to limit housing options, including efforts to weaken fair housing and other critical civil rights protections such as Section 504.
  • Remove barriers that prevent people from renting or buying homes through program simplification, ensuring adequate fair-market rents, eliminating discrimination based on source of income, and permitting people to acquire and maintain assets.
  • Enact legislation requiring newly constructed, federally assisted housing to incorporate "visitability" standards (elements that afford accessibility to a dwelling's first floor).

Taking Action

DRCLogo_3California P&A Successfully Challenges Elderly-Only Designations

In Foster v. City of Richmond Housing Authority, et al, the California P&A brought a lawsuit on behalf of a non-elderly individual with a disability who was not allowed to apply for public housing because the housing was only available to persons over age 62.  The city had not followed the proper federal procedures for designating the housing elderly-only.The terms of the settlement agreement include placing the plaintiff at the top of the waiting list for senior/disabled housing, providing the plaintiff with the first apartment to become available, opening the senior/disabled waiting list to non-elderly persons with disabilities, training, $8000 in damages, and $46,500 in attorneys fees.

Massachusetts P&A Fights for Ramp and Bathroom Modifications After Tenant Becomes Disabled

In Zhou v. Needham Investment Co., the Massachusetts P&A filed an administrative complaint against a private landord who refused to allow his tenant to install a ramp and modify a bathroom after the tenant became disabled.   The tenant was forced to find other housing, but the landlord refused to refund the tenant’s security deposit.  The landlord removed the case to state court. The Massachusetts Attorney General is representing the plaintiff and the P&A has intervened. Discovery is being conducted by both sides.


Resources

Below are housing guides published by state protection and advocacy systems:

Fair Housing Rights for People with Disabilities - published by the Arizona Center for Disability Law

Discriminatory Zoning and the Fair Housing Act, published by the Disability Rights Network of Pennsylvania

Ending Discrimination in Housing: Fair Housing Laws, published by Advocacy, Inc - Published by Disability Rights Texas

Eviction Rights of Community Care Facilities Residents - published by Disability Rights California

Funding Housing Modification - published by Disability Rights California

Overcoming Barriers to Opening Group Homes for People with Disabilities - Disability Rights Texas

Fair Housing Handbook: Reasonable Accommodations & Modifications – First Edition - published by Disability Rights Oregon