Disability Housing: Home Purchase, Rental and Discrimination Information
Disabled World: Revised/Updated: 2019/04/30
Synopsis: Information on housing and assistance programs for people with disabilities and veterans wanting to buy a house unit or condo. You may qualify for government housing assistance under Section 504 from the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development. HUD study shows people with disabilities still face rental inquiry discrimination.
This section of Disabled World provides information regarding home and housing options for people with a disability. In addition we also cover information on housing programs for veterans and buying a home, as well as financial assistance programs, including home mortgages, available for those wanting to buy a house, unit or condo.
U.S. Disability Housing
For persons with a disability in the U.S., you may qualify for government housing assistance under Section 504 from the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development. Although there are other government programs available, this is the most well-known. Additionally, you can find other information on any state or local assistance programs through HUD-approved agencies.
For U.S. veterans The United States Department of Veterans Affairs handles housing assistance for disabled vets.
Since there can be long waits for U.S. government housing, you should apply as soon as possible. Further information on US Disability Housing and Home Loans
A U.S. HUD study shows people with disabilities still face discrimination in up to half of rental inquiries. It is unlawful to discriminate in any aspect of selling or renting housing or to deny a dwelling to a buyer or renter because of the disability of that individual, an individual associated with the buyer or renter, or an individual who intends to live in the residence.
The Fair Housing Act, as amended in 1988, prohibits housing discrimination on the basis of race, color, religion, sex, disability, familial status, and national origin.
- Zoning and Land Use: It is unlawful for local governments to utilize land use and zoning policies to keep persons with disabilities from locating to their area.
- It is unlawful for a housing provider to refuse to rent or sell to a person simply because of a disability. A housing provider may not impose different application or qualification criteria, rental fees or sales prices, and rental or sales terms or conditions than those required of or provided to persons who are not disabled.
- A reasonable accommodation is a change in rules, policies, practices, or services so that a person with a disability will have an equal opportunity to use and enjoy a dwelling unit or common space. A housing provider should do everything s/he can to assist, but s/he is not required to make changes that would fundamentally alter the program or create an undue financial and administrative burden.
For further information visit HUD.gov Disability Rights in Housing
Homeless Assistance Grant Programs
1 - Emergency Solutions Grants - This fact sheet provides an overview of important information related to the Emergency Solutions Grants (ESG) Program.
2 - Continuum of Care program - The Continuum of Care (CoC) Program is designed to promote community wide commitment to ending homelessness; provide funding for efforts by nonprofit providers, and State and local governments to quickly rehouse homeless individuals and families while minimizing the trauma and dislocation caused to homeless individuals, families, and communities by homelessness; promote access to and effect utilization of mainstream programs by homeless individuals and families; and optimize self-sufficiency among individuals and families experiencing homelessness.
HUD's definition of homelessness specifically includes any individual or family who is fleeing or attempting to flee domestic or dating violence, sexual assault, stalking, or other dangerous or life-threatening conditions. In 2011, HUD provided over $40 million in targeted homeless assistance grants for this population. HUD homeless assistance grants allow for flexible program design, including innovative trauma informed care models. Continuum of Care (CoC) Program Eligibility Requirements.
U.S. Fair Housing Act
White and brown apartment buildings with narrow tree lined river in foreground - Photo by chuttersnap on Unsplash.
The Fair Housing Act, as amended in 1988, prohibits housing discrimination on the basis of race, color, religion, sex, disability, familial status, and national origin. Its coverage includes private housing, housing that receives Federal financial assistance, and State and local government housing. It is unlawful to discriminate in any aspect of selling or renting housing or to deny a dwelling to a buyer or renter because of the disability of that individual, an individual associated with the buyer or renter, or an individual who intends to live in the residence. Other covered activities include, for example, financing, zoning practices, new construction design, and advertising.
Complaints of Fair Housing Act violations may be filed with the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development:
Office of Compliance and Disability Rights Division
Office of Fair Housing and Equal Opportunity
U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development
451 7th Street, S.W. , Room 5242
Washington, D.C. 20410
Disability Housing and the ADA
Title II of the ADA applies to all programs, services, and activities provided or made available by public entities. This includes housing when the housing is provided or made available by a public entity. For example, housing covered by Title II of the ADA includes public housing authorities that meet the ADA definition of "public entity," and housing operated by States or units of local government, such as housing on a State university campus.
Title III of the ADA covers public and common use areas at housing developments when these public areas are, by their nature, open to the general public. For example, it covers the rental office since the rental office is open to the general public.
For further information see our page covering US Housing Discrimination information.
For information about housing programs in your state, contact the U.S. Department of Housing & Urban Development (HUD).
U.K. Disability Housing
A Disabled Facilities Grant is a local council grant to help towards the cost of adapting your home to enable you to continue to live there. A grant is paid when the council considers that changes are necessary to meet your needs, and that the work is reasonable and practical.
Specialist equipment and adaptations can make it much easier for you to live independently in your own home.
The equipment available ranges from large equipment like stairlifts and hoists to smaller gadgets designed for people with specific disabilities.
Your local council can tell you about its services and about care homes and supported or sheltered housing in your area.
- Disability Housing and Home Loans for Disabled Americans - Disabled World - (2009-02-06)
- US Veteran Home Loans and Tax Benefits - Disabled World - (2009-02-06)
- Guide to Home Buying for People with Disabilities - Total Mortgage Services, LLC - (2012-08-15)
- First Home Owners Guide to Mortgages - Disabled World - (2009-02-06)
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