Reasonable Accommodations & Modifications
Under the Fair Housing Act, persons with disabilities are allowed to request reasonable accommodations and reasonable modifications to fully enjoy their homes.
Federal law defines disability as “a physical or mental impairment that substantially limits one or more major life activities.”
A physical or mental impairment can include hearing, mobility and visual impairments, chronic alcoholism, mental illness, HIV/AIDS, AIDS Related Complex, or intellectual or developmental disabilities that substantially limits one or more major life activities such as walking, talking, hearing, seeing, breathing, learning, performing manual tasks, and caring for oneself.
A reasonable accommodation is a change, exception, or adjustment to the rules, policies, or procedures. Any costs associated with a reasonable accommodation is the responsibility of the landlord, housing provider, or homeowner association. You cannot be charged a fee for your reasonable accommodation. Examples of requests include:
- Waiving a “pet fee” for an animal that is prescribed as an emotional support animal.
- Allowing a tenant to transfer to a ground floor unit.
- Providing a designated accessible parking space.
- Allowing a tenant to break their lease without penalty if they can no longer live alone.
A reasonable modification is a structural or physical change to the inside or outside of a unit or common area. In private housing, the tenant is responsible for costs related to the modifications. In housing that receives federal financial assistance, any costs associated with the modifications are the responsibility of the landlord. Examples of requests include:
- Adding grab bars to a the bathroom walls.
- Installing a ramp into a building.
- Widening the doorway to accommodate a wheelchair or motorized mobility device.
- Lowing the entry threshold of a unit.
If you need assistance with making a request for a reasonable accommodation or modification, please contact us. If you have been denied a reasonable accommodation or modification or feel that you are facing discrimination because of your disability, we urge you to report it to us so we can investigate and assist you. HOME can help you understand and advocate for your fair housing rights. There are no charges for any of HOME’s services and all calls are confidential. Interpreter services are offered in many languages.
HOME can also provide technical assistance to educate housing providers on fair housing laws so they do not discriminate.