If you’re like me a physically disabled individual with very limited resources such as Social Security disability being your only source of income it can be very difficult if not impossible to find affordable accessible housing when you are disabled.
2 Affordable Accessible Housing Programs
Generally, there are 2 types of housing programs that I am aware of 1 of which is section 8 housing which provides vouchers for rent and subsidizes the rent payment under section 8 housing which is a federal program rent is approximately one-third of monthly income.
The second type of housing is public housing both are federal programs administered by County housing authorities. These programs have income and assets requirements that you must meet in order to be eligible generally to be eligible for public housing your income level must be 80% of federal poverty. To be eligible for section 8 housing your income level must be 50 to 80% of federal poverty. Income and asset requirements vary by jurisdiction. The information contained in this article is intended strictly as guidance you should check with your County Housing Authority to determine purpose besides income and asset requirements.
I am originally from Bucks County Pennsylvania. When I last applied for public housing the income limits the eligible was $15,000 a year. Also, assets affected eligibility for example if you owned a house the value of that house would count against you and prevent you from being eligible. There is also a 3 to 5 year period related to asset transfers. Individuals would frequently try to transfer assets to children in order to render themselves eligible for public housing. I would strongly advise honesty in the reporting of income and assets to avoid misrepresentation fraud and ineligibility for a substantial period of time.
Many housing authorities also have waiting lists. In which the application was received. It is also important to note that many local housing authorities have stopped receiving applications. In many housing authorities, there are no disability accessible units such as Burlington County New Jersey. When you apply, you are placed on the back of the housing list as dwellings become available people move up on the list based upon the time applying for section 8 housing may make it possible to obtain an apartment more quickly.
Once you are accepted into public housing you will be required to put down a 1st and last month security deposit. When you are in public housing, it is important to pay your rent on time and keep your other bills current. Also, you must comply with all federal state and local regulations with regard to occupancy in the past I’ve heard stories of many individuals who have lost their federal lease due to having more individuals in the apartment and were listed on the lease. Also, many individuals have lost their lease and access to federal housing because of drug use or other illegal activity.
Providers of the accessible housing may not discriminate on the basis of disability under the fair housing act a disability is defined as an impairment which affects a major life activity just like the ADA the definition under the federal fair housing act also covers people perceived as having a disability or having a record of such impairment. Your landlord cannot discriminate simply because he or she is uncomfortable with your disability. I would advise the following steps in summation:
(1) contact your county Housing Authority to determine eligibility requirements
(2) gather all of your available financial information.
(3) gather information related to your disability most times a simple letter stating the nature of your disability and limitations will suffice.
(4) apply for both section 8 subsidized housing and public housing.
(5) once you have obtained a rental voucher look for an apartment taking into account its location so that you are close to public transportation so you can get to your doctor appointments and your job.
(6) once you have found an appropriate apartment and been accepted make a written request for reasonable accommodation.
(7) if the possible fight to save up money to pay for the necessary accommodations.
If this is not possible in light of your circumstances look for grants that help disabled people pay for modifications. I wish you all success in your quest for independent living and accessible housing. Discrimination in housing is not permitted. Public areas must be made accessible under title III of the Americans With Disabilities Act. There are many rights in housing for people with disabilities.
Under the fair housing act landlord’s must permit the modification to allow the disabled person full use and enjoyment of the property the cost of the modifications are the responsibility of the tenant examples of reasonable accommodations include lowering of entranceways installing a ramp widening doorways on the inside of the premises. A ramp may be built on the outside of the premises to render a public area more accessible. Another necessary reasonable accommodation is a reserved handicap parking spot in front of your apartment even if no other parking spots are reserved.