How a Reasonable Accommodation Request Can Help

A lot of people with disabilities, especially those who are new to this lifestyle, do not understand various aspects of this new routine and how do they work. Today, we would like to talk about one of those factors – a reasonable accommodation. What is this thing? How does it work? How exactly can reasonable accommodation requests be helpful? All the needed information on this topic can be found in our article, so read and learn!

What are reasonable accommodations, and why is the letter needed to get one?

service dog gives hand for vet

First of all, let’s have a closer look at what is a reasonable accommodation and why it is required due to the Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA). A Reasonable Accommodation is a special request from an individual with a disability according to their special needs.

Mainly, it is required in housing when it comes to living conditions with a service animal. According to the Fair Housing Act of 1988, they are permitted even in no pet housings; however, a special letter from a healthcare provider is sometimes required. Moreover, due to Housing and Urban Development portal, there is a list of forbidden actions that cannot be done to anyone despite their age, sex, race, national origin, disability, and other factors:

  • Denial in renting, selling, negotiating for housing;
  • Making housing unavailable without any reason;
  • Change terms, conditions, or price because of the person’s sex, race, etc.;
  • Falsely claim that the accommodation is already sold or unavailable.

They also have special rules of requested accommodation to protect people from disability discrimination. It relates to those who:

  • Have any mental or physical disabilities (a definition of disability is an issue that noticeably limits one’s life activity – mobility, visual, and other impairments, mental illnesses, addictions, etc.);
  • People with records of such disabilities;
  • Those who are regarded as having such a disability.

The main goal of these people is to make it easier for personalities with a disability to avoid undue hardship and help provide a reasonable accommodation condition to them.

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How to write a request for reasonable accommodation for a person with a disability?

Service dog pdf Reasonable Accommodation

In order to request an accommodation from the landlord, a person with a certain disability should write a letter that includes:

  • Person’s name;
  • Address;
  • A telephone number;
  • A date when the letter is written;
  • To whom you are writing;
  • A generic explanation of a situation.

The last part is one of the most important because you should provide reasonable explanations that you are an individual with a disability and want to request a reasonable accommodation. In this case, documentation that proves your disability is required to show it to a landlord. It can be a note or a letter from your healthcare provider that verifies you are indeed a person with a mental or physical disability. The request can be sent both via email or in the form of a formal physical letter (depending on which one is more comfortable for you). Of course, you can Order Reasonable Accommodation Request in online PDF format on our website myserviceanimal.org.

You are legally allowed to contact Fair Housing with an official complaint in case the landlord ignores you or refuses to contact you to talk about a reasonable accommodation request. Also, you may request staff related to a disability to provide you with access to the territory, apartment, or house you live in (for example, if the person uses a wheelchair, a ramp is needed to help them to get to their destination).

Section 8 voucher and how can it help with reasonable accommodation?

For those with disabilities, it is possible to make a request for a reasonable accommodation with the help of a Section 8 voucher. How exactly can it be used for applicants, and what benefits it brings to people?

  • Helping people who faced discrimination. You should get all the needed information and fill out a discrimination complaint afterward. Then, housing authorities will be able to help you with all the following procedures;
  • If the rent is higher than usual because of a service animal that helps with a disability and assists to perform the essential functions in life. Once again, they can help if you faced discrimination. Housing authorities may also make your voucher higher, so the landlord receives higher rent without actually raising your part. This one can be used if a person needs special living conditions that relate to their disability (e.g., use electricity and no gas to get more heat);
  • A housing search time. 60 days search time is provided to people with a section 8 voucher so that they have enough time to find a comfortable apartment for someone with a disability. The housing authority is obliged to extend this period of time in case it is hard to find a place that is suitable for someone’s disability;
  • Utility allowance. If the person has bigger spending on the utility (for example, because the person requires a constant work of medical equipment, so the electricity bills are higher), housing authorities must approve a higher utility allowance;
  • Additional bedrooms. A voucher for more bedrooms that are typically offered to families without relatives with disabilities may be given to a person if their health conditions require it. For example, if spouses cannot sleep in one bed because of one’s disability, or children cannot share a room because of emotional or physical problems of one of them, a comfortable apartment with enough space for all should be provided to them;
  • Help in a housing search. If a disabled person has trouble finding a comfortable and affordable place to live in, a housing authority has to provide assistance to them. To do that, you have to write an official letter that will claim you cannot find proper accommodation on your own and require their assistance.

To sum upWhat is a Service Animal

As you can see, requests for reasonable accommodation are extremely helpful for every person with a disability. It can make their routine much easier and assist in finding the dwelling of one’s dream that includes everything a person requires for a comfortable life. Sometimes, it is not worth it to do everything on your own. That’s where housing authorities come in – to make people’s harsh lives at least a little bit simpler. Hope this article was helpful. Take care!

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