A person with a disability may require special accommodations in order to have equal access to the HCV program. The types of reasonable accommodations BHA can provide include changes, exceptions, or adjustments to a rule, policy, practice, or service.
Federal regulations stipulate that requests for accommodations will be considered reasonable if they do not create an "undue financial and administrative burden" for BHA, or result in a “fundamental alteration” in the nature of the program or service offered. A fundamental alteration is a modification that alters the essential nature of a provider’s operations.
When needed, BHA must modify normal procedures to accommodate the needs of a person with disabilities. Examples include:
- Permitting applications and reexaminations to be completed by mail
- Conducting home visits
- Using higher payment standards (either within the acceptable range or with HUD approval of a payment standard outside BHA range) if BHA determines this is necessary to enable a person with disabilities to obtain an appropriate, modest housing unit
- Providing time extensions for locating a unit when necessary because of lack of availability of accessible units or special challenges of the family in seeking a unit
- Permitting an authorized designee or advocate to participate in the application or certification process and any other meetings with BHA staff
- Providing dual copies of all required notices/mailings to a person designated by the family
- Displaying posters and other housing information in locations throughout BHA's office in such a manner as to be easily readable from a wheelchair.
If an applicant or participant indicates that an exception, change, or adjustment to a rule, policy, practice, or service is needed because of a disability, HUD requires that BHA treat the information as a request for a reasonable accommodation, even if no formal request is made [Joint Statement of the Departments of HUD and Justice: Reasonable Accommodations under the Fair Housing Act].
The family must explain what type of accommodation is needed to provide the person with the disability full access to BHA’s programs and services.
If the need for the accommodation is not readily apparent or known to BHA, the family must explain the relationship between the requested accommodation and the disability. There must be an identifiable relationship, or nexus, between the requested accommodation and the individual’s disability.
BHA will encourage the family to make its request in writing using a reasonable accommodation request form. However, BHA will consider the accommodation any time the family indicates that an accommodation is needed, or BHA staff has reliable information to believe an accommodation is appropriate, whether or not a formal written request is made or submitted.
When an accommodation involves suspension or reinstatement of assistance, BHA will allow a maximum of two years from the last date of assistance when considering the request.
Please click on the link below for the Administrative Plan Chapter 2 (Fair Housing) for more information on Reasonable Accommodations.