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    Housing Overview

    FAIR HOUSING ACT OF 1968 (AS AMENDED 1988)

    Amended the Civil Rights Act to include persons with “handicaps” as a protected group. The definition of a discriminatory housing practice was amended to include prohibition against coercion, intimidation, threats, or interference because of “handicap.” Rental housing, ready for occupancy after March 13, 1990, must be designed to be accessible to disabled individuals – covered rental property includes only:

    • Buildings consisting of four or more units if such buildings have one or more elevators; or
    • Ground units in other buildings consisting of four or more units.

    Requires a landlord to allow tenants with disabilities to make reasonable access-related modifications to their apartments and common areas if the disabled renter agrees to pay reasonable costs of restoring the premises to the original condition when they leave. Requires a landlord to make reasonable exceptions to their policies and operations to afford people with disabilities equal housing opportunities.

    Fair housing resources:

    THE CALIFORNIA FAIR EMPLOYMENT AND HOUSING ACT OF 1990 (FEHA)

    Disabled individuals have the right to rent, lease, or buy housing accommodations free from discrimination by anyone who rents or sells housing, financial institutions and persons making, printing or publishing advertisements. Allows a disabled individual to keep a service dog, even if pets are not ordinarily allowed in the residence (tenants can be held liable for damages to real or personal property caused by service dogs). Allows disabled individuals to make reasonable modifications at their expense to accommodate their disabilities if they agree to restore the premises to their pre-existing conditions.

    Fair employment resources:

    SECTION 811

    Housing and Urban Development (HUC) provides funding to nonprofit organizations, with a Section 501(c)(3) tax exemption from the IRS, to develop rental housing for very low-income adults with disabilities, and provides rent subsidies for the projects to help make them affordable. This program allows persons with disabilities to live as independently as possible by providing interest-free capital advances to nonprofit organizations to help them finance the development of rental housing such as independent living projects, condominium units and small group homes with the availability of supportive services. In order to live in Section 811 housing, a household may consist of either a single individual or have at least one member, 18 years old or older, with a disability and must be very low-income (within 50 percent of the median income for the area).

    Section 811 Resources

    OMNIBUS McKINNEY HOMELESS ASSISTANCE ACT – TITLE IV

    Includes a permanent housing program for individuals with disabilities. Allows HUD to waive the 8-person limit in the housing program for individuals with disabilities. Allows supportive housing funds to be used for operating costs of permanent disabled homeless projects.

    CRANSTON-GONZALEZ NATIONAL AFFORDABLE HOUSING ACT OF 1990

    Amended the Housing Act of 1959 – authorized funds to be set aside specifically for housing for people with disabilities. Amended the McKinney Homeless Assistance Act – authorized funds to be set-aside specifically for people with disabilities who are homeless.