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Fair Housing, Section 504 & Reasonable Accommodations/Assistance Animals . Department of Housing & Urban Development MPNAHRO June16,2014. FAIR HOUSING LAWS. TITLE VI OF THE CIVIL RIGHTS ACT OF 1964 FAIR HOUSING ACT OF 1968, AS AMENDED IN 1988
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Fair Housing, Section 504 & Reasonable Accommodations/Assistance Animals Department of Housing & Urban Development MPNAHRO June16,2014
FAIR HOUSING LAWS • TITLE VI OF THE CIVIL RIGHTS ACT OF 1964 • FAIR HOUSING ACT OF 1968, AS AMENDED IN 1988 • SECTION 504 OF THE REHABILITATION ACT OF 1973 (UFAS) • THE AMERICANS WITH DISABILITIES ACT OF 1990 (ADA)
Fair Housing Act PROTECTED CLASSES • RACE • COLOR • RELIGION • NATIONAL ORIGIN • SEX • FAMILIAL STATUS • DISABILITY
SECTION 504 of the Rehabilitation Act of 1973 • Found at 24 CFR Part 8. • Prohibits Discrimination on the basis of disability in programs and activities receiving Federal Financial assistance from HUD.
Discrimination Simply put, discrimination means treating someone differently based on x, y or z.
Treat everyone equally
REASONABLE ACCOMMODATIONS & REASONABLE MODIFICATIONS
Discrimination Prohibited • No qualified person with a disability shall, solely on the basis of disability be excluded from participation in, be denied the benefits of, or otherwise be subjected to discrimination.
Reasonable Accommodations • A reasonable accommodation is a change, • exception, or adjustment to a rule, 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.
Equality of Benefits & Opportunity • Equalizes the benefit of housing and enhances the quality of life for persons with disabilities.
Definition of a Person with Disability • A person who has a physical or mental impairment that substantially limits one or more major life activity, has a record of such an impairment, or is regarded as having such impairment. • Doesn’t include - Current drug use and alcohol abuse.
EXAMPLES OF MAJOR LIFE ACTIVITIES • Seeing • Walking • Learning • Performing Manual Tasks • Hearing • Breathing • Speaking • Taking Care of One’s Self
Covered DWELLINGS • Dwellings are defined under the Fair Housing Act as: • any building, structure which is intended for occupancy as a residence by one or more families. The terms “dwelling” and “dwelling units” has been broadly interpreted. (See 42 U.S.C. § 3602(b). • Many courts have determined the meaning to include temporary or permanent dwelling place, which one intends to return. • U.S. v. City Rescue Mission of New Castle and James Henderson
U.S. vs. Rescue Mission of New Castle • Mission (homeless shelter) did not allow a blind person to stay with their service animal. • Mission denied him because they were not equipped to handle animals. • Discriminated on the following basis: • *Denial of dwelling based on disability • *Denial on different terms, conditions or privileges of rental • *Refusal to make accommodations when necessary to allow the person to have equal opportunity to fully enjoy the dwelling • Complainant attempted suicide • Court awards damages and civil penalties
Requesting an Accommodation • A reasonable accommodation must be requested. • Requests can be made at any time, by person with disability, family member or by someone else who is acting on their behalf. • A request does not have to be in writing it can be orally or by any other effective method. • Housing provider should place request in writing and document outcome.
Applying the principles … • An oral request is enough – A written request may not be required. • The process should be quick and easy and should involve determining the answers to two questions: 1.) Does the requester have a disability? 2.) Does the requester have a disability-related need for the requested assistance animal? • Determinations should be made on a case-by-case basis.
EVALUATING REASONABLE ACCOMMODATION REQUESTS • Housing providers must evaluate requests for assistance animals as reasonable accommodations by using the general principals applicable to all reasonable accommodation requests.
Housing Providers Responsibility • Engaging in an interactive dialogue: It is necessary, when an applicant or tenant requests an accommodation or modification, to engage in an interactive dialogue. One cannot simply refuse a request for a reasonable accommodation or modification. The interactive dialogue is an opportunity to become educated about the requester’s needs and to find an effective and reasonable solution for the issue at hand.
Verifying A NEED FOR A Reasonable Accommodation • May request documentation– only to the extent necessary to verify that the requester has a disability and whether the accommodation is needed for the disability. • Apparent vs. Non-apparent disabilities. • May not acquire confidential medical records or inquire into the nature or severity of a person’s disability. • Verification of a disability and need for an accommodation can be from a: Medical provider; health Care provider; Doctor, a professional representing a social service agency; a disability agency or rehab clinic; or other provider that can verify the disability.
Reasonable Accommodations • For an accommodation to be reasonable there must be an identifiable relationship or nexus between the requested accommodation and the individual’s disability.
What is Reasonable? • The requested accommodation must be reasonable: • *It does not impose an undue financial and • administrative burden on the housing provider. *It does not fundamentally alter the nature of the housing provider’s operation.
Request for Assistance Animal is a Reasonable Accommodation under the Fair Housing Act and Section 504 of the Rehabilitation Act of 1973
Assistance Animals • Assistance animals are not pets. • Assistance animals include • service animals and emotional • support/therapy and comfort • animals.
ASSISTANCE ANIMALS … • Are animals that provide assistance, or perform tasks for the benefit of a person with a disability, or provide emotional support that alleviates one or more symptoms or effects of a person’s disability. • Do not need to be trained or certified, serves a function for person with disability to alleviate their disability. • Are not just dogs and may include cats, birds, guinea pigs, miniature horses, capuchin monkeys, snakes, tarantulas, etc.
Assistance Animal Conditions HOUSING PROVIDERS MAY NOT… • Charge a pet deposit or a fee • Deny access to housing or indoor and outdoor public and common use areas associated with housing OR • Impose breed, weight, number, or size limitations.
Assistance Animal Conditions • Both Pet policies and No pet policies must clearly state that the policy does not apply to assistance animals. • HOUSING PROVIDERS… • May apply reasonable health and safety concerns, including ensuring that animals are not a threat or a nuisance. • May require owners to clean-up after animals and maintain control of animals.
Remedies if Animals are a Problem • Provide tenant with lease violations • Charge tenant for damages • Evict the tenant, not the animal
Americans with Disabilities Act Application • Title II of the ADA applies to public entities, including public entities that provide housing (e.g. public housing agencies, state and local government housing, housing provided at state universities and other places of education.) • Title III of the ADA applies to places of public accommodation, such as rental offices, shelters, some types of multifamily housing, assisted living facilities, and housing at places of education.
ADA Definition of A “service animal” • DOJ’s revised ADA regulations define “service animal” narrowly as any dog that is individually trained to do work or perform tasks for the benefit of an individual with a disability, including a physical, sensory, psychiatric, intellectual, or other mental disability. • In some cases, the ADA definition also includes miniature horses. • The provision of emotional support, well-being, comfort, or companionship does not constitute work under this ADA definition.
ADA Inquiries • The ADA has different requirements than the Fair • Housing Act. • Entities covered by the ADA may only make two inquiries to • assess requests under the ADA: 1.) “Is this a service animal that is required because of a disability?” 2.) “What work or tasks is the animal trained to perform?”
ADA Inquiries, Cont. • Covered entities may not ask about the “nature or extent of a person’s disability.” • Covered entities may not require documentation or proof. • Covered entities may not ask the two questions if it is “readily apparent that the animal is trained to do work or perform tasks for a person with a disability.” (EXAMPLE: A dog seen guiding a person with a visual impairment)
New DEPARMENT OF JUSTICE ADA Regulations • Recent Amendments to ADA regulations do not affect reasonable accommodation requests under the Fair Housing Act and Section 504.
ADA Not Applicable in Housing • Under the Fair Housing Act and Section 504, individuals with disabilities may request reasonable accommodations for assistance animals , including all animals, not just dogs or miniature horses. • Housing providers must meet broader Fair Housing Act/Section 504 standard in deciding whether to grant reasonable accommodation requests for assistance animals.
Visiting Assistance Animals • Housing providers must allow visiting animals. • In Reno, NV, a housing provider was charged with repeated • harassment and attempted eviction of a couple who had a • friend visit with service animal. • The tenant provided the landlord with documentation showing the friend’s dog was a service animal. But the landlord would not make an exception to the property’s “no pet” policy. After the eviction was dismissed in court, the landlord continued to harass the tenant by posting signs by tenants door.
Reasonable AccommodationsQuiz • Is there a limit on the number of reasonable accommodation requests a person with a disability may have? • Do verifications of a disability and a need for a reasonable accommodation have to be from a licensed Doctor? • Can a request be turned down if there is not a nexus between the type of disability and the requested accommodation?
Reasonable AccommodationsQuiz • Can a housing provider deny leasing to a person with a disability if they do not have any accessible • Does a housing provider have to approve a request for maintenance to take a person with a disabilities garbage out ? What are some alternatives?
Reasonable Accommodation Quiz • Can the housing provider require a tenant to move into an accessible unit when one is available if the disabled tenant is currently in an non-accessible unit? • Can housing providers charge a tenant with a disability to transfer to an accessible unit from a unit that is not accessible?
Assistance Animal Quiz • Can you limit the number, breed, size, or weight of an assistance animal? • Can you deny an Assistance animal if it is not trained or certified? • Can you require the tenant to request another reasonable accommodation if they acquire a different animal? • 4. Can you evict an Assistance Animal?
Assistance animal Quiz • Can a housing provider require a tenant to acquire rental insurance due to their assistance animal? • Can a housing provider require a tenant to have their assistance animal spayed or neutered? • How often can a housing provider verify a reasonable accommodation request?
To File A Fair Housing Complaint • File a fair housing complaint by using HUD’s On Line Form accessible through our Web site http:www.hud.gov • File by calling toll free in Denver 1-800-877-7353 File by calling a FHIP or a FHAP in your area
More Information • FHEO Notice 2013-01, Service Animals and Assistance Animals for People with Disabilities in Housing and HUD-Funded Programs, http://portal.hud.gov/hudportal/documents/huddoc?id=servanimals_ntcfheo2013-01.pdf • U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development and U.S. Department of Justice: Joint Statement on Reasonable Accommodations under the Fair Housing Act, www.hud.gov/offices/fheo/library/huddojstatement.pdf • DOJ ADA Technical Assistance on Service Animals http://www.ada.gov/service_animals_2010.htm
REMEDIES FOR DISCRIMINATION • ACTUAL ECONOMIC DAMAGES • COMPENSATION FOR PAIN AND SUFFERING AND NON-ECONOMIC INJURY • ATTORNEYS FEES • CIVIL PENALTIES • PUNITIVE DAMAGES
Fair Housing: It’s Not an Option Its the Law!
For more information, contact: Michele Hutchins, Equal Opportunity Specialist Office of Fair Housing & Equal Opportunity Utah State HUD Office 125 S. State Street, Room 3001 Salt Lake City, UT 84138 (801) 524-6097-Direct line (801) 524-6909-TDD/TTY line 1-800-877-7353 – Denver Toll Free email: firstname.lastname@example.org