Housing Negotiation SupportAccessible Dreams offers support when someone withe a disability wants to:
- Assure they are not being discriminated against.
- Lease or rent a property.
- Make modifications to a housing unit or common areas.
- Learn about reasonable accommodations (like handicapped accessible parking or allowance of support animal).
- Negotiate or protest changes to housing agreements.
- Stop an eviction.
We can also assist in negotiating with:
- Housing Authorities
- Redevelopment Authorities
- Medical Assistance Service Coordinators
What is discrimination? If someone believes they are being treated differently based on their being in a protected class (sex, color, age, religion, national origin, ancestry, disability, familial status, retaliation, or having a GED) then they may be suffering from discrimination, and might have legal recourse to address such.
Today, housing discrimination against people with disabilities can be subtle, like offering different leasing terms for people who use a wheelchair or have a service animal (usually charging a higher security deposit fee because the potential landlord believes a wheelchair or service animal will cause additional damage to the apartment).
Reasonable Housing Accomodations
In terms of housing, a reasonable accommodation is a change to a normal practice, rule, or policy that can be made to allow a person with a disability to obtain and/or enjoy their housing. An example of this would be allowing a tenant who receives disability payments on the fifteenth of the month to pay their rent at that time, even though everyone else’s rent it due on the first of the month.A reasonable modification can also be a physical change that could be made to the property to allow a person with a disability to safely live there. An example of this would be adding grab bars to a shower or lowering a thermostat control.
- If the property receives federal funding, they are financially responsible for making these modifications.
- If they do not receive federal funding, then the tenant may be responsible for paying for the modifications. (The tenant would also be responsible to restore the housing unit back to the original state if they vacate the property.)
Support Animals or service animals are the right of every Pennsylvania citizen. Not limited to just dogs, several species can be trained to be support animals.In housing, you have the right to your support animal because its use is directly related to your disability.
- You cannot be charged a "pet fee" because the animal is not a pet.
- You cannot be denied your support animal because of their breed or weight.
- Your support animal is an extension of you, so they must be permitted wherever you are permitted.
- The support animal must be under control at all times.
- You will be required to provide a note from your medical provider stating your need for the animal and its relationship to your disability.