2What does Fair Housing mean to a person with a disability? Fair housing laws do the following:Prohibits discrimination against persons with disabilities.Requires housing providers to make reasonable accommodations for persons with disabilities.Requires housing providers to allow persons with disabilities to make reasonable modifications.Requires that new covered multifamily housing be designed and constructed to be accessible.
3What laws affect housing? The Americans with Disabilities Act: In most cases, the ADA does not apply to residential housing. Rather, the ADA applies to places of public accommodation such as restaurants, retail stores, libraries, and hospitals as well as commercial facilities such as offices buildings, warehouses, and factories. However, 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.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 providedor made available by a public entity. For example,housing covered by Title II of the ADA includes publichousing authorities that meet the ADA definition of"public entity," and housing operated by States orunits of local government, such as housing on a Stateuniversity campus.For the text of the ADA see
4Federal Fair Housing Act Title VIII of the Civil Rights Act of 1968 (Fair Housing Act), as amended, prohibits discrimination in the sale, rental, and financing of dwellings, and in other housing-related transactions, based on race, color, national origin, religion, sex, familial status (including children under the age of 18 living with parents of legal custodians, pregnant women, and people securing custody of children under the age of 18), and handicap (disability).For text of the FHA seeFor examples of the FHA protections see
5Federal – Section 504 of the Rehabilitation Act of 1973 Section 504 prohibits discrimination based on disability in any program or activity receiving federal financial assistance.Section 504 Prohibitions Against Discrimination GuaranteeProhibitionOpportunity to participate Denying a qualified individual with disabilities the opportunity to participate in, or benefit from, the housing, aid, benefit, or service.Equality of benefitsFailing to afford a qualified individual with disabilities the opportunity for equal participation and benefit. Equality of opportunityFailing to provide a qualified individual with disabilities a program or service that affords the same opportunity to benefit as that afforded others. No unnecessary difference or separatenessProviding different or separate housing, aid, benefits or services on the basis of disability unless providing such is necessary to provide housing or benefits that are as effective as that provide to persons without disabilities. No assistance to entities that discriminateProviding significant assistance to an agency, organization or person that discriminates on the basis of disability in any aspect of a federally assisted activity.Opportunity to serve on boardsDenying a qualified individual with disabilities the opportunity to participate as a member of planning or advisory boards.No denial of right to a dwellingDenying a dwelling to an otherwise qualified buyer or renter because of a disability of that buyer or renter or another prospective tenant.No discriminatory limitation of benefitsLimiting in any other manner a qualified individual with disabilities in the enjoyment of any right, privilege, advantage, or opportunity afforded to others. Most integrated settingProviding programs or services to qualified individuals with disabilities in settings that are unnecessarily separate, segregated or restricted.
6Federal - Architectural Barriers Act of 1968 The Architectural Barriers Act requires that buildings and facilities designed, constructed, altered, or leased with certain federal funds after September 1969 must be accessible to and useable by handicapped persons.For text of the ABA see
7Federal – Executive Orders Executive Order Executive Order prohibits discrimination in the sale, leasing, rental, or other disposition of properties and facilities owned or operated by the federal government or provided with federal funds.Executive Order Executive Order 11246, as amended, bars discrimination in federal employment because of race, color, religion, sex, or national origin.Executive Order Executive Order 12892, as amended, requires federal agencies to affirmatively further fair housing in their programs and activities, and provides that the Secretary of HUD will be responsible for coordinating the effort. The Order also establishes the President's Fair Housing Council, which will be chaired by the Secretary of HUD.Executive Order Executive Order requires that each federal agency conduct its program, policies, and activities that substantially affect human health or the environment in a manner that does not exclude persons based on race, color, or national origin.Executive Order Executive Order eliminates, to the extent possible, limited English proficiency as a barrier to full and meaningful participation by beneficiaries in all federally-assisted and federally conducted programs and activities.Executive Order Executive Order requires federal agencies to evaluate their policies and programs to determine if any can be revised or modified to improve the availability of community-based living arrangements for persons with disabilities.
8State Laws - Fair Employment and Housing Act The Fair Employment and Housing Act specifics:Prohibits discrimination and harassment in all aspects of housing including sales and rentals, evictions, terms and conditions, mortgage loans and insurance, and land use and zoning.Requires housing providers to make reasonable accommodation in rules and practices to permit persons with disabilities to use and enjoy a dwelling and to allow persons with disabilities to make reasonable modifications of the premises.Prohibits retaliation against any person who has filed a complaint with the Department, participated in a Department investigation or opposed any activity prohibited by the Act.
9Remedies under FEHAThe law provides for a variety of remedies, which may include:Housing Previously Denied, Out-Of-Pocket Expenses, Cease and Desist Orders, Damages for Emotional Distress, Reasonable Attorneys Fees and Costs, Expert Witness Fees, Civil Penalties, and Court Ordered Punitive DamagesPersons who believe they have experienced housing discrimination may file a DFEH complaint. Complaints must be filed within one year from the date of the alleged discriminatory act. Persons wishing to file a lawsuit directly in court do not need a "right-to-sue" from DFEH. Civil lawsuits must be filed within two years of the alleged discrimination.For text of the FEHA see
10State Law – Unruh Civil Rights Act This law requires "Full and equal accommodations, advantages, facilities, privileges or services in all business establishments." This includes but is not limited to:Hotels and Motels, Non-Profit Organizations, Restaurants, Theaters, Hospitals, Barber and Beauty Shops, Housing Accommodations, Public Agencies, and Retail Establishments.The Unruh Civil Rights Act also contains the requirements for the senior housing exemption. Housing accommodations that meet these requirements are exempt from the familial status provisions of the Fair Employment and Housing Act and may, therefore, legally discriminate against families with children. The Unruh senior housing requirements apply to all types of housing except mobile homes. To be exempt from familial status discrimination, mobile home parks must meet the requirements set forth under the Federal Fair Housing (Amendments) Act of 1988 (as amended).
11Remedies under UnruhThis law provides for a variety of remedies which may include:Out-Of-Pocket Expenses, Cease and Desist Orders, Damages for Emotional DistressCourt ordered damages may include a maximum of three times the amount of actual damages. Persons who believe they have experienced discrimination may file a DFEH complaint. Complaints must be filed within one year of the alleged discrimination. Persons wishing to file directly in court do not need a "right-to-sue" from the Department of Fair Employment and Housing. and Ralph ActFor text of the Unruh Act see
12State Law – Ralph Civil Rights Act The Ralph Civil Rights Act, California Civil Code section 51.7, provides protection from hate crimes. It prohibits violence or threats of violence based on:Age, Ancestry, Color, Disability, National Origin, Political Affiliation, Position in a Labor Dispute, Race, Religion, Sex, or Sexual OrientationFor text of the Ralph Act see
13Remedies under RalphCivil remedies available under the Ralph Civil Rights Act include:Restraining Orders: After a restraining order is obtained from a court, violators of that court order can be fined or jailed. Actual Damages: Damages of up to $150,000 may include the cost of the victim's medical treatment, lost wages, property repair, or payment for emotional suffering and distress. Punitive Damages: A court can order additional damages to punish violators. Civil Penalties: A court or the Fair Employment and Housing Commission may order a fine of up to $25,000 which would be awarded to the person filing the complaint. Attorney's Fees: A court may order the payment of the complainant's attorney fees resulting from the lawsuit.Persons who believe they have been subjected to hate violence may file a DFEH complaint. The complaint must be filed within one year from the date the victim of the act or threat of violence becomes aware of the perpetrator(s) identity, but in no case more than three years from the date of harm. Persons wishing to file directly in court do not need a "right-to-sue" notice from DFEH.
14Group homes are also protected The Fair Housing Act makes it unlawful --To utilize land use policies or actions that treat groups of persons with disabilities less favorably than groups of non-disabled persons. An example would be an ordinance prohibiting housing for persons with disabilities or a specific type of disability, such as mental illness, from locating in a particular area, while allowing other groups of unrelated individuals to live together in that area.To take action against, or deny a permit, for a home because of the disability of individuals who live or would live there. An example would be denying a building permit for a home because it was intended to provide housing for persons with mental retardation.To refuse to make reasonable accommodations in land use and zoning policies and procedures where such accommodations may be necessary to afford persons or groups of persons with disabilities an equal opportunity to use and enjoy housing.See
16Mobile Homes and RV Parks are completely different when it comes to housing law – be sure to look it up!
17Fair Housing for Native Americans Many tribes have their own housing development offices and subsidy programs.HUD and other Federal agencies offer a range of programs, assistance, and loan programs specifically for Native American tribes, organizations, and sometimes individuals.
18How do I file a Federal Complaint? HUD Fill out a form found atOr a letter with the followingYour name and address The name and address of the person your complaint is about The address of the house or apartment you were trying to rent or buy The date when this incident occurred A short description of what happened Then mail it to the Fair Housing Hub closest to you:U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development Phillip Burton Federal Building and U.S. Courthouse 450 Golden Gate Avenue, 9th Floor P.O. Box San Francisco, California (415) TTY (415)
19How do I file a State Complaint? Housing Complaint Flow Chart can be found atIntakeComplainants are first interviewed to collect facts about possible discrimination. Interviews are normally conducted by telephone. Prior to the interview, a Pre-Complaint Questionnaire, (DFEH ) English or (DFEH s) Spanish, must be filled out and mailed to the Department. You can obtain a copy of this questionnaire by contacting DFEH or by downloading it from the Publications page. Once the completed questionnaire has been received by the Department, you will be contacted to arrange the telephone interview.FilingIf the complaint is accepted for investigation, the interviewing Consultant drafts a formal complaint on the DFEH's standard form. It is signed and served on the Respondent.If jurisdictional under federal law, the complaint is also filed with the United States Department of Housing and Urban Development (HUD). As a substantially equivalent agency, DFEH's findings are usually accepted by HUD.The Respondent is required to answer the complaint and is given the opportunity to voluntarily resolve it. A no-fault resolution can be negotiated at any time during the complaint process.Complaints can be filed by individuals, the Director of DFEH, or a community organization.
20What will DFEH do in regards to my complaint? InvestigationDFEH investigates every case in a standard, timely manner.DFEH has the authority to take depositions, issue subpoenas and interrogatories and seek Temporary Restraining Orders when appropriate.If the investigative findings do not show a violation of the law, DFEH will close the case.ConciliationFormal conciliation conferences are scheduled when the investigative findings show a violation of the law.During the conciliation conference, the Department presents information supporting its belief that there has been a violation and explores options to resolve the complaint.If formal conciliation fails, the Housing Administrator may recommend litigation.LitigationAfter issuing an accusation, DFEH legal staff litigates the case. Based on the option of the parties, the case may be heard before the Fair Employment and Housing Commission (FEHC) or in civil court.RemediesThe FEHC may order remedies for out-of-pocket losses, injunctive relief, access to the housing previously denied, additional damages for emotional distress, and civil penalties up to $10,000 for the first violation. Court remedies are identical with one exception:Instead of civil penalties, a court may award unlimited punitive damages.
21What will my decision look like? Copies of state decisions can be found at
22Resources HUD Publications on Fair Housing HUD Library Resources on HousingState Fair Housing Fact Sheet“What ‘Fair Housing’ Means for People with Disabilities.”California TenantsSelf Advocacy Skills in Housing
23Section 8This is only for Section 8 – not for other subsidized housing.The Section 8 Housing Choice Voucher Program administered through the U.S. Department of HUD is one of the most important federal programs for people with disabilities. With Section 8, people with disabilities can become more independent and have the opportunity for full community integration.Section 8 Made SimplePublications related to Section 8Reasonable Accommodations – People may need help with the bureaucracy of the program.Reasonable Modifications – Allows altering of the property.
24Accommodations and Modifications Using Reasonable Accommodations to Preserve Rights of Tenants With Disabilities (Copyright 1999) English, by Sherry Trafford at Bazelon Center for Mental Health Law, th St. NW, Suite 1212, Washington, DC 20005, (202) , (PAI # , $1.50).Funding Housing Modifications