Fair Housing and Access for People with Disabilities

Wednesday, November 16, 2016


The Fair Housing Act prohibits housing discrimination on the basis of race, color, religion, sex, disability, familial status, and national origin. Its coverage includes private housing, housing that receives Federal financial assistance, and State and local government housing. The Fair Housing Act also requires owners of housing facilities to make reasonable exceptions in their policies and operations to afford people with disabilities equal housing opportunities. Despite the Fair Housing Act's protections, ADA centers continue to receive questions from tenants, housing providers, and home owner associations regarding accessibility and discrimination in housing. Southwest ADA Center Legal Specialist George Powers will discuss how the Fair Housing Act applies in the housing context. Topics covered will include the rules for:

  • Assistance animals along with a comparison to the rules for service dogs under the ADA
  • Differences between reasonable accommodations (rules and policies w/ no cost) and modifications (changes to a structure)
  • Accessible and/or reserved parking
  • Issues regarding responsibilities of housing providers to update older apartments with current design standards
  • Reasonable modifications for newly built homes
  • A review of recent and relevant case law

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George Powers, Legal Specialist, Southwest ADA Center