139 Scroggin Park
Georgetown, KY 40324
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SECTION 8 APPLICATIONS
ADDITIONAL APPLICATION FORMS

REASONABLE ACCOMMODATION POLICY

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A “reasonable accommodation” is a change, exception, or adjustment to a 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. Since policies and services may have a different effect on persons with disabilities than on other persons, treating persons with disabilities exactly the same as others will sometimes deny them an equal opportunity to use and enjoy a dwelling. [Joint Statement of the Departments of HUD and Justice: Reasonable Accommodations under the Fair Housing Act]

Federal regulations stipulate that requests for accommodations will be considered reasonable if they do not create an "undue financial and administrative burden" for the PHA, or result in a “fundamental alteration” in the nature of the program or service offered. A fundamental alteration is a modification that alters the essential nature of a provider’s operations.

Types of Reasonable Accommodations

When it is reasonable (see definition above and Section 2-II.E), the PHA shall accommodate the needs of a person with disabilities. Examples include but are not limited to:

·         Permitting applications and reexaminations to be completed by mail

·         Conducting home visits

·         Permitting a higher utility allowance for the unit if a person with disabilities requires the use of specialized equipment related to the disability

·         Modifying or altering a unit or physical system if such a modification or alteration is necessary to provide equal access to a person with a disability

·         Installing a ramp into a dwelling or building

·         Installing grab bars in a bathroom

·         Installing visual fire alarms for hearing impaired persons

·         Allowing a PHA-approved live-in aide to reside in the unit if that person is determined to be essential to the care of a person with disabilities, is not obligated for the support of the person with disabilities, and would not be otherwise living in the unit.

·         Providing a designated handicapped-accessible parking space

·         Allowing an assistance animal

·         Permitting an authorized designee or advocate to participate in the application or certification process and any other meetings with PHA staff

·         Displaying posters and other housing information in locations throughout the PHA's office in such a manner as to be easily readable from a wheelchair

Request for an ACCOMMODATION

If an applicant or participant indicates that an exception, change, or adjustment to a rule, policy, practice, or service is needed because of a disability, HUD requires that the PHA treat the information as a request for a reasonable accommodation, even if no formal request is made [Joint Statement of the Departments of HUD and Justice: Reasonable Accommodations under the Fair Housing Act].

The family must explain what type of accommodation is needed to provide the person with the disability full access to the PHA’s programs and services.

If the need for the accommodation is not readily apparent or known to the PHA, the family must explain the relationship between the requested accommodation and the disability.

GHA Policy

The PHA will encourage the family to make its request in writing using a reasonable accommodation request form. However, the PHA will consider the accommodation any time the family indicates that an accommodation is needed whether or not a formal written request is submitted.

Verification of Disability

Before providing an accommodation, the PHA must determine that the person meets the definition of a person with a disability, and that the accommodation will enhance the family’s access to the PHA’s programs and services.

If a person’s disability is obvious or otherwise known to the PHA, and if the need for the requested accommodation is also readily apparent or known, no further verification will be required [Joint Statement of the Departments of HUD and Justice: Reasonable Accommodations under the Fair Housing Act].

If a family indicates that an accommodation is required for a disability that is not obvious or otherwise known to the PHA, the PHA must verify that the person meets the definition of a person with a disability, and that the limitations imposed by the disability require the requested accommodation.

When verifying a disability, the PHA will follow the verification policies.  All information related to a person’s disability will be treated in accordance with the confidentiality policies provided in Chapter 16 (Program Administration). In addition to the general requirements that govern all verification efforts, the following requirements apply when verifying a disability:

·         Third-party verification must be obtained from an individual identified by the family who is competent to make the determination. A doctor or other medical professional, a peer support group, a non-medical service agency, or a reliable third party who is in a position to know about the individual’s disability may provide verification of a disability [Joint Statement of the Departments of HUD and Justice: Reasonable Accommodations under the Fair Housing Act].

·         The PHA must request only information that is necessary to evaluate the disability-related need for the accommodation. The PHA may not inquire about the nature or extent of any disability.

·         Medical records will not be accepted or retained in the participant file.

·         In the event that the PHA does receive confidential information about a person’s specific diagnosis, treatment, or the nature or severity of the disability, the PHA will dispose of it. In place of the information, the PHA will note in the file that the disability and other requested information have been verified, the date the verification was received, and the name and address of the knowledgeable professional who sent the information [Notice PIH 2010-26].

Approval/Denial of a Requested Accommodation

[Joint Statement of the Departments of HUD and Justice: Reasonable Accommodations under the Fair Housing Act, Notice PIH 2010-26]

The PHA must approve a request for an accommodation if the following three conditions are met.

·         The request was made by or on behalf of a person with a disability.

·         There is a disability-related need for the accommodation.

·         The requested accommodation is reasonable, meaning it would not impose an undue financial and administrative burden on the PHA, or fundamentally alter the nature of the PHA’s operations.

Requests for accommodations must be assessed on a case-by-case basis. The determination of undue financial and administrative burden must be made on a case-by-case basis involving various factors, such as the overall size of the PHA’s program with respect to the number of employees, type of facilities and size of budget, type of operation including composition and structure of workforce, the nature and cost of the requested accommodation, and the availability of alternative accommodations that would effectively meet the family’s disability-related needs.

Before making a determination whether to approve the request, the PHA may enter into discussion and negotiation with the family, request more information from the family, or may require the family to sign a consent form so that the PHA may verify the need for the requested accommodation.

GHA Policy

After a request for an accommodation is presented, the PHA will respond, in writing, within 10 business days.

If the PHA denies a request for an accommodation because there is no relationship, or nexus, found between the disability and the requested accommodation, the notice will inform the family of the right to appeal the PHA’s decision through an informal hearing (if applicable) or the grievance process.

If the PHA denies a request for an accommodation because it is not reasonable (it would impose an undue financial and administrative burden or fundamentally alter the nature of the PHA’s operations), the PHA will discuss with the family whether an alternative accommodation could effectively address the family’s disability-related needs without a fundamental alteration to the public housing program and without imposing an undue financial and administrative burden.

If the PHA believes that the family has failed to identify a reasonable alternative accommodation after interactive discussion and negotiation, the PHA will notify the family, in writing, of its determination within 10 business days from the date of the most recent discussion or communication with the family.  The notice will inform the family of the right to appeal the PHA’s decision through an informal hearing (if applicable) or the grievance process.