Reasonable Accommodations and Modifications (2022)

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Reasonable Accommodations and Modifications

Federal nondiscrimination laws require housing providers to grant requests for reasonable accommodations and modifications in housing, programs, and activities.

  • Rights and Obligations Under Federal Law
  • Reasonable Accommodations
  • Reasonable Modifications
  • Examples
  • Questions and Answers
  • Additional Resources

Rights and Obligations Under Federal Law

Various federal laws require housing providers to make reasonable accommodations and reasonable modifications for individuals with disabilities. Federal nondiscrimination laws that protect against disability discrimination cover not only tenants and home seekers with disabilities, but also buyers and renters without disabilities who live or are associated with individuals with disabilities. These laws also prohibit housing providers from refusing residency to persons with disabilities, or placing conditions on their residency, because they require reasonable accommodations or modifications.

The Fair Housing Act

Under the Fair Housing Act a reasonable accommodation is a change, exception, or adjustment to a rule, policy, practice, or service. The Fair Housing Act makes it unlawful to refuse to make reasonable accommodations to rules, policies, practices, or services when such accommodations may be necessary to afford persons with disabilities an equal opportunity to use and enjoy a dwelling and public and common use areas.

In addition, the Fair Housing Act prohibits a housing provider from refusing to permit, at the expense of the person with a disability, reasonable modifications of existing premises occupied or to be occupied by such person if such modifications may be necessary to afford such person full enjoyment of the premises.

Section 504

Unlike the Fair Housing Act, Section 504 does not distinguish between reasonable accommodations and reasonable modifications. Instead, both are captured by the term “reasonable accommodations. Under Section 504, the requirement to make reasonable accommodations applies to any changes that may be necessary to provide equal opportunity to participate in any federally-assisted program or activity. This includes a change, adaptation or modification to a policy, program, service, facility, or workplace which will allow a qualified person with a disability to participate fully in a program, take advantage of a service, live in housing, or perform a job. Reasonable accommodations also include any structural changes that may be necessary. Reasonable accommodations may include changes which may be necessary in order for the person with a disability to use and enjoy a dwelling, including public and common use spaces, or participate in the federally-assisted program or activity. Under Section 504, reasonable accommodations must be provided and paid for by the housing provider unless providing them would be an undue financial and administrative burden or a fundamental alteration of the program. In such cases, the provider is still required to provide any other reasonable accommodation up to the point that would not result in an undue financial and administrative burden on the particular recipient and/or constitute a fundamental alteration of the program. In addition to the statutory requirement to make reasonable accommodations under Section 504, HUD's Section 504 regulation provides for making "housing adjustments" at 24 C.F.R. § 8.33.

(Video) Reasonable Accommodation Housing & Reasonable Modifications -Section 504

Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA)

Similar to and based upon the Section 504 reasonable accommodation requirement, Titles II and III of the ADA require public entities and public accommodations to make reasonable modifications to policies, practices, or procedures to avoid discrimination. This obligation applies unless the public entity can demonstrate that the modifications would fundamentally alter the nature of its service, program, or activity (Title II), or the public accommodation can demonstrate that making the modifications would fundamentally alter the nature of the goods, services, facilities, privileges, advantages, or accommodations (Title III). For more information, see the Department of Justice ADA page.

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 disabilities to have an equal opportunity to use and enjoy a dwelling, including public and common use spaces, or to fulfill their program obligations. Please note that the ADA often refers to these types of accommodations as “modifications.”

Any change in the way things are customarily done that enables a person with disabilities to enjoy housing opportunities or to meet program requirements is a reasonable accommodation. In other words, reasonable accommodations eliminate barriers that prevent persons with disabilities from fully participating in housing opportunities, including both private housing and in federally-assisted programs or activities. Housing providers may not require persons with disabilities to pay extra fees or deposits or place any other special conditions or requirements as a condition of receiving a reasonable accommodation.

Since rules, policies, practices, and services may have a different effect on persons with disabilities than on other persons, treating persons with disabilities exactly the same as others will sometimes deny persons with disabilities an equal opportunity to enjoy a dwelling or participate in the program. Not all persons with disabilities will have a need to request a reasonable accommodation. However, all persons with disabilities have a right to request or be provided a reasonable accommodation at any time.

Under Section 504 and the ADA, public housing agencies, other federally-assisted housing providers, and state or local government entities are required to provide and pay for structural modifications as reasonable accommodations/modifications.

Reasonable Modifications

Under the Fair Housing Act, a reasonable modification is a structural change made to existing premises, occupied or to be occupied by a person with a disability, in order to afford such person full enjoyment of the premises. Reasonable modifications can include structural changes to interiors and exteriors of dwellings and to common and public use areas. Examples include the installation of a ramp into a building, lowering the entry threshold of a unit, or the installation of grab bars in a bathroom. Under the Fair Housing Act, prohibited discrimination includes a refusal to permit, at the expense of the person with a disability, reasonable modifications of existing premises occupied or to be occupied by such person if such modifications may be necessary to afford such person full enjoyment of the premises.

Under Section 504, a housing provider is required to provide and pay for the structural modification as a reasonable accommodation unless it amounts to an undue financial and administrative burden or a fundamental alteration of the program. If an undue burden or fundamental alteration exists, the recipient is still required to provide any other reasonable accommodation up to the point that would not result in an undue financial and administrative burden on the particular recipient and/or constitute a fundamental alteration of the program.

For more information, visit Section 504 Frequently Asked Questions page.

Note: This requirement to accommodate an individual’s request for accessible features under Section 504 is separate from a recipient’s affirmative obligation to provide program access and to have an inventory of accessible units available for persons with disabilities. Similarly, under the Fair Housing Act, there are design and construction requirements for covered properties irrespective of the requirement to provide reasonable modifications. Additional information on these physical accessibility requirements is available on the Physical Accessibility page.

Examples

  • Assigning an accessible parking space for a person with a mobility impairment
  • Permitting a tenant to transfer to a ground-floor unit
  • Adjusting a rent payment schedule to accommodate when an individual receives income assistance
  • Adding a grab bar to a tenant’s bathroom
  • Permitting an applicant to submit a housing application via a different means
  • Permitting an assistance animal in a "no pets” building for a person who is deaf, blind, has seizures, or has a mental disability. Additional information about assistance animals is available here.

Questions and Answers

Who must comply with these requirements?

(Video) Reasonable Accommodations & Modifications

The requirement to provide reasonable accommodations and modifications applies to, but is not limited to individuals, corporations, associations and others involved in the provision of housing or residential lending, including property owners, housing managers, homeowners and condominium associations, lenders, real estate agents, and brokerage services. This also applies to state and local governments, including in the context of exclusionary zoning or other land-use decisions.

When is a reasonable accommodation or modification necessary?

A requested accommodation or modification may be necessary when there is an identifiable relationship, or nexus, between the requested accommodation or modification and the individual’s disability.

What information may a provider seek when a reasonable accommodation or modification is requested?

A provider is entitled to obtain information that is necessary to evaluate if a requested reasonable accommodation or modification may be necessary because of a disability. If a person’s disability is obvious, readily apparent, or otherwise known to the provider, and if the need for the requested accommodation or modification is also readily apparent or known, then the provider may not request any additional information. If the disability and/or the disability-related need for the requested accommodation or modification is not known or obvious, the provider may request only information that is necessary to evaluate the disability and/or disability-related need for the accommodation. This information may be from the requesting individual, medical professional, a peer support group, a non-medical service agency, or a reliable third party who is in a position to know about the individual's disability. In most cases, an individual's medical records or detailed information about the nature of a person's disability is not necessary for this inquiry and may be inappropriate.

When may a housing provider deny a requested accommodation or modification?

A housing provider can deny a request for a reasonable accommodation or modification if the request was not made by or on behalf of a person with a disability or if there is no disability-related need for the accommodation or modification. In addition, a request for a reasonable accommodation or modification may be denied if providing the accommodation or modification would impose an undue financial and administrative burden on the housing provider or it would fundamentally alter the nature of the housing provider’s program. The determination of undue financial and administrative burden must be made on a case-by-case basis involving various factors. If an undue burden or fundamental alteration exists, the housing provider is still required to provide any other reasonable accommodation up to the point that would not result in an undue financial and administrative burden on the particular housing provider and/or constitute a fundamental alteration of the program.

When a housing provider denies a requested accommodation or modification, the provider should discuss with the requester whether there is an alternative accommodation or modification that would effectively address the requester's disability-related needs without a fundamental alteration to the provider's operations and without imposing an undue financial and administrative burden. As part of this interactive process, the housing provider should recognize that the individual requesting the accommodation or modification is most familiar with his or her disability and is in the best position to determine what type of aid or service will be effective to meet a disability-related need. These discussions often result in an effective accommodation or modification for the requester that does not pose an undue financial and administrative burden for the provider.

What can I do if my housing provider did not acknowledge my request or denied my request, or we could not reach an agreement regarding my request for a reasonable accommodation or reasonable modification?

A provider has an obligation to provide prompt responses to reasonable accommodation requests. An undue delay in responding to a reasonable accommodation request may be deemed to be a failure to provide a reasonable accommodation. A failure to reach an agreement on an accommodation request is in effect a decision by the provider not to grant the requested accommodation. When a person with a disability believes that he or she has been subjected to a discriminatory housing practice, including a provider’s wrongful denial of a request for reasonable accommodation, he or she may file a complaint with FHEO. If the individual who was denied an accommodation files a complaint with FHEO to challenge that decision, then HUD (or the state or local agency receiving the complaint) will review the evidence in light of applicable law and assess whether the housing provider violated that law

(Video) Reasonable Accommodations and Modifications Under the Fair Housing Act

Additional Resources

  • Joint Statement of HUD and DOJ on Reasonable Accommodations
  • Joint Statement of HUD and DOJ on Reasonable Modifications
  • Notice on Service Animals and Assistance Animals for People with Disabilities in Housing and HUD-Funded Programs


Back to FHEO Home

(Video) Managing Reasonable Accommodations & Modifications: Clarifying Processes, Legalities, and Compliance

FAQs

What are the most common reasonable accommodations? ›

What types of accommodations are generally considered reasonable?
  • Change job tasks.
  • Provide reserved parking.
  • Improve accessibility in a work area.
  • Change the presentation of tests and training materials.
  • Provide or adjust a product, equipment, or software.
  • Allow a flexible work schedule.

What is not a reasonable accommodation? ›

4. What accommodations are not considered reasonable? Reasonable accommodation does not include removing essential job functions, creating new jobs, and providing personal need items such as eye glasses and mobility aids.

What agency is responsible for enforcing fair housing laws in Kentucky? ›

Office, 1968), Introduction. Under the Fair Housing Amendments Act (FHAA)4 the Department of Housing and Urban Development (HUD) is the principal federal agency responsible for the administration and enforcement of fair housing.

What are the 5 common means of reasonable accommodation? ›

5 Types of Reasonable Accommodation
  • Job task changes.
  • Reserved parking.
  • Work area accessibility.
  • Training tools and options.
  • Equipment adaptation.
  • Work schedule flexibility.
  • Work assistant or aid.
  • Job reassignment.

What are the four types of accommodations? ›

Accommodations are typically grouped into four categories: presentation, response, setting, and timing and scheduling.

Is anxiety a disability under ADA? ›

As the court noted, anxiety that substantially affects an employee's major life activities can be considered a disability under the relaxed standards under the ADAAA.

What are some examples of accommodations? ›

Examples of accommodations include:
  • sign language interpreters for students who are deaf;
  • computer text-to-speech computer-based systems for students with visual impairments or Dyslexia;
  • extended time for students with fine motor limitations, visual impairments, or learning disabilities;
24 May 2022

What is a reasonable accommodation for anxiety? ›

Reasonable accommodations for anxiety can include remote work, a support animal, a rest area, a modified break schedule, a flexible schedule, and shifts in schedule. The type of anxiety you have, your limitations, and your employer's resources will determine what accommodation is appropriate.

What rights do renters have in Kentucky? ›

In Kentucky, whenever an agreed upon amount of rent is exchanged for inhabiting a property, even without a written lease, a landlord-tenant agreement exists. Pursuant to Kentucky law, (KRS Chapter 383) tenants have rights, including the right to a habitable living and the right to pursue forms of alternate action.

How much can a landlord raise rent in Kentucky? ›

In Kentucky, there is no limit to how much rent a landlord can increase it by. As such, you can increase it by whatever amount you see fit. That said, it's important not to overcharge your Kentucky tenants. If you do so, you risk having long vacancy periods, as your rental property will be less desirable.

What Kentucky's fair housing law means? ›

The Fair Housing Act prohibits discrimination in housing based on race, color, national origin, or religion. The Kentucky General Assembly later broadened the law to prohibit discrimination in housing based on disability, gender, and familial status.

What are examples of the type of reasonable accommodations? ›

Examples of reasonable accommodations include providing interpreters, readers, or other personal assistance; modifying job duties; restructuring work sites; providing flexible work schedules or work sites (i.e. telework) and providing accessible technology or other workplace adaptive equipment.

What are a list of disabilities? ›

Common Disabilities
  • Attention Deficit Hyperactivity Disorder (ADHD)
  • Learning Disabilities.
  • Mobility Disabilities.
  • Medical Disabilities.
  • Psychiatric Disabilities.
  • Traumatic Brain Injury (TBI) and Post-Traumatic Stress Disorder (PTSD)
  • Visual Impairments.
  • Deaf and Hard of Hearing.

What disabilities are not covered by the ADA? ›

An individual with epilepsy, paralysis, a substantial hearing or visual impairment, mental retardation, or a learning disability would be covered, but an individual with a minor, nonchronic condition of short duration, such as a sprain, infection, or broken limb, generally would not be covered.

What are examples of modifications? ›

Usually a modification means a change in what is being taught to or expected from the student. Making an assignment easier so the student is not doing the same level of work as other students is an example of a modification. An accommodation is a change that helps a student overcome or work around the disability.

What is the difference between a modification and an accommodation? ›

One type of support is an accommodation, which is a change that helps a student overcome or work around the disability. A modification, which is a change in what is being taught to or expected from the student, is another type of support a student with an IEP may receive.

When should we accommodate and do we modify? ›

Accommodation can be used to help a learner to use the same materials and meet the same expectations as others. Conversely, modification can be used to make changes to the curriculum where the learner is not expected to learn what others will learn.

What mental disorders qualify for disability? ›

Mental illnesses that can be covered by Social Security disability include depression, anxiety and anxiety-related disorders, autism, ADHD, learning disabilities, and intellectual disability.

Can a therapist write an accommodation letter? ›

Psychologists can help people receive accommodations by documenting how a client's disability may be affecting his or her job performance and how an accommodation could help in overcoming those limitations.

What is a reasonable accommodation for depression? ›

Just a few examples of possible accommodations include altered break and work schedules (e.g., scheduling work around therapy appointments), quiet office space or devices that create a quiet work environment, changes in supervisory methods (e.g., written instructions from a supervisor who usually does not provide them) ...

What are the most commonly requested accommodations in the workplace? ›

The most frequently requested accommodations are workspace-related (66% of employees and 76% of supervisors) and non-physical accommodations (50% and 74%, respectively).

What are some examples of accommodation techniques modification techniques? ›

Examples of Accommodations & Modifications
  • General Accommodations: Large print textbooks. Textbooks for at-home use. ...
  • Testing and Assessment Accommodations: Answers to be dictated. ...
  • General Modifications: Allow outlining, instead of writing for an essay or major project. ...
  • Behavior modifications: Breaks between tasks.
18 Apr 2022

Is extended time an accommodation or modification? ›

Common examples of accommodations include extended time to complete assignments, provision of notes or outlines, untimed tests, and reduced number of test questions.

Is anxiety and stress a disability? ›

Is Anxiety Considered a Disability? Anxiety disorders, such as OCD, panic disorders, phobias or PTSD are considered a disability and can qualify for Social Security disability benefits. Those with anxiety can qualify for disability if they are able to prove their anxiety makes it impossible to work.

Is depression and anxiety a disability under ADA? ›

Depression and Anxiety as Protected Disabilities

If your depression or anxiety makes it hard for you to sleep, work, concentrate, think, regulate your emotions, or care for yourself, for example, then it is a disability under the ADA.

What accommodations can I ask for at work? ›

What accommodations can I request?
  • making existing facilities accessible.
  • job restructuring.
  • part-time or modified work schedules.
  • acquiring or modifying equipment.
  • changing tests, training materials, or policies.
  • providing qualified readers or interpreters.
  • reassignment to a vacant position.
  • medical leave.

What are the most commonly requested accommodations in the workplace? ›

The most frequently requested accommodations are workspace-related (66% of employees and 76% of supervisors) and non-physical accommodations (50% and 74%, respectively).

What are some examples of accommodations? ›

Examples of accommodations include:
  • sign language interpreters for students who are deaf;
  • computer text-to-speech computer-based systems for students with visual impairments or Dyslexia;
  • extended time for students with fine motor limitations, visual impairments, or learning disabilities;
24 May 2022

What is a reasonable accommodation for anxiety? ›

Reasonable accommodations for anxiety can include remote work, a support animal, a rest area, a modified break schedule, a flexible schedule, and shifts in schedule. The type of anxiety you have, your limitations, and your employer's resources will determine what accommodation is appropriate.

Is anxiety a disability under ADA? ›

As the court noted, anxiety that substantially affects an employee's major life activities can be considered a disability under the relaxed standards under the ADAAA.

What is an example of a reasonable accommodation at work? ›

Examples of Reasonable Accommodations

Modifying work schedules to allow an employee with a disability to attend to matters related to treating the disability, such as attending medical and physical therapy appointments or medication schedules.

What do I do if my job can't accommodate me? ›

If you are unable to work in your full capacity due to a job-related injury, you may be entitled to disability benefits through workers compensation. Under most states' workers compensation laws, most employers are required to provide benefits to most employees.

What are examples of the type of reasonable accommodations? ›

Examples of reasonable accommodations include providing interpreters, readers, or other personal assistance; modifying job duties; restructuring work sites; providing flexible work schedules or work sites (i.e. telework) and providing accessible technology or other workplace adaptive equipment.

What is an example of a modification? ›

Modification is a change that is made, or is the act of changing something. When a plan is in place and you make a slight change to the plan such as building a wall one inch taller, this is an example of modification.

What is the difference between an accommodation and a modification? ›

Modifications change “what” is learned and therefore change the content of the grade -specific curriculum. An accommodation is a change that helps a student overcome or work around the disability. These changes are typically physical or environmental changes.

What are some examples of accommodation techniques modification techniques? ›

Examples of Accommodations & Modifications
  • General Accommodations: Large print textbooks. Textbooks for at-home use. ...
  • Testing and Assessment Accommodations: Answers to be dictated. ...
  • General Modifications: Allow outlining, instead of writing for an essay or major project. ...
  • Behavior modifications: Breaks between tasks.
18 Apr 2022

What mental disorders qualify for disability? ›

Mental illnesses that can be covered by Social Security disability include depression, anxiety and anxiety-related disorders, autism, ADHD, learning disabilities, and intellectual disability.

Is anxiety and stress a disability? ›

Is Anxiety Considered a Disability? Anxiety disorders, such as OCD, panic disorders, phobias or PTSD are considered a disability and can qualify for Social Security disability benefits. Those with anxiety can qualify for disability if they are able to prove their anxiety makes it impossible to work.

What mental illnesses are covered under ADA? ›

1. Who is protected by the Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA) and California's Fair Employment and Housing Act (FEHA)?
  • Depression.
  • Bipolar disorder /manic depression.
  • Schizophrenia.
  • Panic, anxiety and stress disorders.
  • Post-traumatic stress disorder.
  • Obsessive compulsive disorder.
  • Traumatic brain injury.

What disabilities are not covered under ADA? ›

An individual with epilepsy, paralysis, a substantial hearing or visual impairment, mental retardation, or a learning disability would be covered, but an individual with a minor, nonchronic condition of short duration, such as a sprain, infection, or broken limb, generally would not be covered.

Can a therapist write an accommodation letter? ›

Psychologists can help people receive accommodations by documenting how a client's disability may be affecting his or her job performance and how an accommodation could help in overcoming those limitations.

What is a reasonable accommodation for depression? ›

Just a few examples of possible accommodations include altered break and work schedules (e.g., scheduling work around therapy appointments), quiet office space or devices that create a quiet work environment, changes in supervisory methods (e.g., written instructions from a supervisor who usually does not provide them) ...

Videos

1. Fair Housing Special Topics: Reasonable Accommodations, Modifications, and Accessibility
(Texas Department of Housing & Community Affairs)
2. Do's & Don't for ADA Reasonable Accommodation
(HR360Inc)
3. Housing Reasonable Accommodations and Modifications for people with Disabilities
(Disability Rights of West Virginia)
4. Reasonable Accommodations and Modifications: A Housing Provider Primer
(Maryland Department of Disabilities)
5. Tenant Training 101 #:4 Reasonable Accommodations and Modifications
(Maryland Department of Disabilities)
6. Knowing Your Rights as an Indiana Renter - Reasonable Accommodations and Modifications
(Eskenazi Health)

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