AAPD supports greater availability of accessible, affordable, integrated, and self-determined housing and rigorous implementation of all Fair Housing laws. As a member of the Consortium for People with Disability’s (CCD) Housing Task Force, AAPD works collaboratively with other organizations to increase access to decent, safe, and affordable housing for all people with disabilities and to protect the rights guaranteed under the Fair Housing Act. Access to transportation is also important in housing decisions. See the Transportation page for more information.
The national average rent for a modest one-bedroom rental unit was $780, equal to 104% of the national average monthly income of a one-person SSI household. This finding confirms that, in 2014, it was virtually impossible for a single adult receiving SSI to obtain decent and safe housing in the community without some type of rental assistance.
—Priced Out 2014, TAC and the CCD Housing Task Force
There are several federal laws that address housing for people with disabilities, including the Fair Housing Act, the Rehabilitation Act and the American with Disabilities Act. The United Nations Convention on the Rights of People with Disabilities also includes several provisions related to housing.
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, on the basis of disability, or race, color, national origin, religion, sex or familial status. The Fair Housing Act also establishes certain design and construction requirements for multifamily dwellings consisting of four or more units constructed after March 13, 1991.
Section 504 of the Rehabilitation Act prohibits discrimination based on disability in any program or activity that receives federal funds. For recipients of federal housing (HUD) funds, this includes the requirement that in new construction and substantial alterations at least 5% of the housing units be accessible to people with mobility impairments and at least 2% of the housing units be accessible to people with vision or hearing impairments. Section 504 also requires recipients to make reasonable accommodations, including structural changes, to enable access to housing for people with disabilities.
Title II of the ADA prohibits discrimination based on disability in any programs, services and activities of public entities, including state and local public housing and housing assistance.
The Architectural Barriers Act of 1968 requires that buildings and facilities designed, constructed, altered or leased with federal funds after September 1969 be accessible by people with disabilities.
State And Local Laws
Many states have laws that address discrimination in housing. Visit the Leadership Conference on Civil and Human Rights for more information on state fair housing laws.
Federal law prohibits discrimination in housing based on disability. No one may take any of the following actions based on disability:
In the Sale and Rental of Housing:
- Refuse to rent or sell housing
- Refuse to negotiate for housing
- Make housing unavailable
- Deny a dwelling
- Set different terms, conditions or privileges for sale or rental of a dwelling
- Provide different housing services or facilities
- Falsely deny that housing is available for inspection, sale, or rental
- For profit, persuade owners to sell or rent (blockbusting)
- Deny anyone access to or membership in a facility or service (such as a multiple listing service) related to the sale or rental of housing
- Advertise or make any statement that indicates a limitation or preference based on disability
- Threaten, coerce, intimidate or interfere with anyone exercising a fair housing right or assisting others who exercise that right
In Mortgage Lending:
- Refuse to make a mortgage loan
- Refuse to provide information regarding loans
- Impose different terms or conditions on a loan, such as different interest rates, points, or fees
- Discriminate in appraising property
- Refuse to purchase a loan
- Set different terms or conditions for purchasing a loan
For more information on fair lending, click here.
- Refuse to allow tenants to make reasonable modifications to dwelling or common use areas, at the tenant’s expense, if necessary for a disabled person to use the housing. (Where reasonable, the landlord may permit changes only if the tenant agrees to restore the property to its original condition upon leaving.)
- Refuse to make reasonable accommodations in rules, policies, practices or services if necessary for the disabled person to use the housing.
Adapted from Fair Housing—It’s Your Right from HUD
If you believe that your rights to secure housing have been violated, you may file a complaint with the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development (HUD).
- Department of Housing and Urban Development – Resource Locator
This tool identifies housing resources based on geographic area and includes resources specifically for people with disabilities.
- USA.gov – Housing Help
Housing resources, including those specifically for people with disabilities and veterans.
- National Housing Law Project
The National Housing Law Project aims to advance housing justice for poor people and communities by strengthening and enforcing the rights of tenants, increasing housing opportunities for under-served communities, and preserving and expanding the nation’s supply of safe and affordable homes.
- Development Vouchers
Certain Development Vouchers enable non-elderly families having a person with disabilities, who do not currently receive housing assistance in certain developments where owners establish preferences for, or restrict occupancy to, elderly families, to obtain affordable housing.
- Disability Rights in Housing
Regardless of whether you live in private or public housing, Federal laws provide several rights to persons with disabilities.
- Information for Disabled Persons
This page from the Department of Housing and Urban Development is designed to answer frequently asked questions on the housing rights of people with disabilities and the responsibilities of housing providers and building and design professionals under federal law.