Section 5: Reasonable Accommodation for People with Disabilities in Public or Subsidized Housing

A reasonable accommodation is the legal requirement that a landlord provide services or equipment or a change in the lease or rules to allow a person with a disability to apply for, move in, and remain in the apartment. All Housing Authorities must provide people with disabilities with information about how to request a reasonable accommodation. If you are applying for an apartment that has special adaptations (such as being wheelchair accessible), you will need to show that you need that feature. Your physician or psychiatrist can verify your disability and reasonable accommodation needs as outlined below-

Verifying disability:

1. Some Housing Authorities accept the fact that you, the applicant, receives SSI or SSDI benefits as proof of disability.
2. Many Housing Authorities require that your physician complete that Housing Authority’s specific Disability Verification Form on that Housing Authority’s stationery.
3. You may need to obtain a letter from your physician or psychiatrist stating:
· your disability is expected to be long-term and of an indefinite duration and/or
· your disability substantially impedes the person’s ability to live independently and/or
· your disability is of such a nature that the disability could be improved by more suitable housing conditions.
· the letter should be very brief, and it need not reveal your diagnosis or list any medications you take.

Verifying reasonable accommodation needs: Your physician or psychiatrist will need to explain your need for any special physical accommodations, service requirements or other reasonable accommodations which you may need to assist with your disability related housing needs.

An example letter for you to give to your physician/psychiatrist to use as a model to verify your disability and reasonable accommodation needs is available on the next page.

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