Read Microsoft PowerPoint - Fair Housing - Reasonable Accommodation Revised text version

FAIR HOUSING TRAINING Reasonable Accommodation

TN Association of Affordable Housing And Rural Development

Mickey Myers ­ Executive Director TAAH Terri Sneed ­ RD Equal Opportunity Specialist

Protected Classes

1968

o

o o o

Race Color Religion National Origin Sex Familial Status

1974

o

1988

o

o

Disability

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KEY ISSUES

Treat everyone the same; with dignity and respect Offer everyone the same services Apply the same Selection Criteria to everyone Allow anyone to fill out an application Never give your personal opinion

o I thing it would be best for you if . . . . o Example: It would be best for you to live Downstairs

Never Provide false information

KEY ISSUES (continued)

Never give misleading information Have consistent rules for everyone ­ NOTE: do not single out children in your rules. (do not say no children in Laundry Room, say

No Loitering in the Laundry Room)

Do not have retaliatory Practices in rules, warnings, maintenance. maintenance. Have a written policy on how maintenance is done and follow it! (no

exceptions)

Have a policy that requires the maintenance staff to refer all questions to the office, including maintenance requests. Do not fail to investigate allegations of a Fair Housing violations violations between tenants, etc. (do not become an accessory after the fact) fact Keep written records (if it is not in writing, it does not exist) If in doubt, ASK ­ the stakes are too high to guess

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KNOW THE LAW

Related To Disability

Section 504 of the Rehabilitation Act of 1973 (Prohibits discrimination in a Federallyassisted program on the basis of disability

Fair Housing Amendment Act of 1988

(Extension of Civil Rights Act of 1968, adding Familial Status and Disability)

The Americans for Disability Act (ADA)

KEY PUBLICATIONS

HUD 4350.3 rev1 Chapter 2 Section 3 7 CFR 3560.2 (See RD HB-2-3560 Ch 1-7) Joint Statement of HUD and DOJ

·

Reasonable Accommodation under the Fair Housing ActPublished May 17, 2004

Joint Statement of HUD and DOJ

·

Reasonable Accommodation under the Fair Housing Act Published March 5, 2008

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Fair Housing & the Disabled

With respect to a person, a physical or mental impairment which substantially limits one or more major life activities; a record of such an impairment; or a person being regarded as having such an impairment."

Federal Register, Vol.54, No.13 Monday, January 23, 1989

RD Definition of Disability

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A DISABILITY is one that limits major life activities, including

Self-care SelfManual tasks Walking Breathing Seeing Hearing Speaking Learning Working Elevated blood lead levels

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Physiological Disorders/Conditions

Neurological Musculoskeletal Special Sense organs Respiratory Cardiovascular Reproductive Digestive Skin & Endocrine Hemic & Lymphatic Genito-urinary Genito-

Diseases & Conditions:

Orthopedic Visual Speech & Hearing Cerebral Palsy Autism Epilepsy Muscular Dystrophy Multiple Sclerosis Diabetes Cancer Heart Disease HIV/Aids Mental Retardation Emotional Illness Alcoholism Former Drug Addiction Learning Disabilities Other psycological disorders

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TIME FOR A BREAK

Definition of Reasonable Accommodation/Modification

Accommodation is a change, exception or adjustment to a rule, policy, practice that may be necessary for a person with a disability to have an equal opportunity to use and enjoy the property (their unit and common areas). Modification is a structural change that may be necessary for a person with a disability to have an equal opportunity to use and enjoy the property (their unit and common areas)..

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3 Main Responsibilities:

Consider & make reasonable accommodations in rules, policies, practices, or services Consider and make reasonable modifications Do not ask unlawful questions

Who is Eligible to Make a Request

To be eligible for an to request a Reasonable Accommodation a person must be classified as disabled. Anyone classified as disabled my make a request; this would include a request for a disabled member of the household.

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Verifying Disability

Application should have questions such as:

Verifying Disability Continued

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Determining Disability

For Reasonable Accommodations

If the disability is not obvious or know and the person is not classified as disabled; management must verify disability disabled; for purpose of eligibility. eligibility. If a person is classified as disabled by program definition, if the disability is know or readily know; management may request only information that is necessary to evaluate the disability-related need for a request. disability Best way to determine eligibility is to provide a qualified 3rd party with the federal definitions. Never go beyond and inquire into the particulars of the disability.

Legal Questions

"Housing providers may make the following inquiries, provided these inquiries are made of all Applicants".

· If they would like to determine if they are eligible for a $400 deduction afforded to a household where tenant or co-tenant is codisabled. If a household needs the features of a mobility impaired unit, If household consists of a tenant or co-tenant that meets the coprogram definition of Disability for "Elderly" Complex. Elderly"

· ·

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Legal Questions Continued

"A provider is entitled to obtain information that is necessary to evaluate if a requested reasonable accommodation may be necessary because of a disability" disability" "However, if a person's disability is obvious, or otherwise person' known to the provider, and if the need for the accommodation is also readily known, then the provider may not request any additional information". information" Finally, the provider must only seek information that is necessary to evaluate if the accommodation is needed because of the disability.

Who is NOT Eligible

Does the act protect juvenile offenders, sex offenders, person who illegally use controlled substances and persons with disabilities who pose a significant danger to others? NO; juvenile offenders and sex offenders, by virtue of the statute, are NOT persons with disabilities protected b the Act. The Act does not protect an individual with a disability whose tenancy would constitute a "direct threat" to the health or threat" safety of other individuals, or result in substantial physical damage to the property; unless the threat can be eliminated or significantly reduced by reasonable accommodation. accommodation.

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Determining a Direct Threat

"Must rely on an individualized assessment that is

based on the reliable objective evidence (current conduct or a recent history of overt acts)" The Assessment Must Consider

1. Nature, duration and severity of the risk of injury 2. The probability that injury will actually occur 3. Determine if there are any reasonable accommodations that will eliminate the direct threat.

NOTE: if the individual has received intervening

treatment has eliminated the threat or risk of harm; management may request documentation of how the circumstances have changed eliminating the threat. The Act does not allow for exclusion of individuals based on fear, speculation or stereotype of a particular disability or persons with disabilities in general.

Example

Ms Smith is a tenant in Creekside Apts. She is arrested for threatening threatening her neighbor with baseball bat. This is a major violation per the the complex lease. Upon investigation, this behavior has happened several several times. Ms. Smith is given a 30 day notice and she does not cure the situation. The manager files for eviction. In court Ms Smith's attorney and case worker inform management and Smith' the judge that Ms. Smith has a psychiatric disability that causes her to causes be violent when she does not take her medication. They request a reasonable accommodation to the policy to terminate based on this this behavior. An accommodation only needs to be granted if management can be assured that Ms. Smith will receive appropriate counseling and periodic periodic medication monitoring so that she will no longer pose a threat.

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Two Scenarios

·

·

First Scenario:

·

Ms. Smith's attorney tells management that she will not agree to the terms

Second Scenario:

·

Ms. Smith's attorney and case manager inform management that she will cooperate with the case manager making regular visits to ensure she will take her medication.

Company Policies for Accepting Requests

Should have a written policy that is provided to all applicants and residents stating who is eligible and how someone can make a request. Although it is best to have a written request, you cannot demand that the request be on a specific for or that it be in writing. The person with the disability does not have to be the one who makes a request. A request cannot be denied if it does not specifically say "I need a Reasonable . . .

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Documentation of Disability to Determine if Request is Reasonable

Management is entitled to obtain information that is necessary to evaluate if a request is reasonable. Two Key Issues:

· If a disabled person makes a request and the need for the request is readily apparent or known, no additional information may be requested! If a disabled person makes a request and the need for the request is not readily apparent or known, management may request only information necessary to evaluate the disabilitydisabilityrelated need to grant the request.

·

DOJ/HUD memos state, "there must be an identifiable relationship or nexus between the request and disability." disability."

Reasons to Deny a Request

The request is not made for a person who has a disability. There is no disability-related need for request. (There is disabilitynot a nexus, a connection between request and the disability) It is NOT reasonable:

It would put an undo financial burden on the property. It would fundamentally alter the nature of the purpose of the property.

You must discuss with the requester if there is an alternative accommodation that would address the need.

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