Disability Housing Discrimination Attorney
Equal Services, Housing for People with Disabilities
All California retail stores, restaurants, hospitals, hotels and other public places and transportation must provide people with disabilities the same service and amenities as the general public. This includes acceptance of service animals.
- People with disabilities are also protected when they seek housing. State law prohibits discrimination by sellers, landlords and those who provide housing-related services.
- Housing policies, practices, terms and conditions must allow people with disabilities equal access to apartments, houses, condos and other dwellings.
- Where necessary, reasonable accommodations in housing rules, policies, practices, or services are required to allow people with disabilities equal opportunity to use and enjoy dwellings.
- People with disabilities must be allowed, at their own expense, to make reasonable modifications to their dwelling to allow them equal access and enjoyment.
Learn more about the many federal laws that help promote equal housing opportunity for individuals with disabilities
Federal nondiscrimination laws provide housing protections for individuals with disabilities. These protections apply in most private housing, state and local government housing, public housing and any other federally-assisted housing programs and activities. The Fair Housing Act prohibits discrimination in housing and housing-related transactions because of disability. Section 504 of the Rehabilitation Act prohibits discrimination on the basis of disability in any program or activity receiving federal financial assistance. Titles II and III of the Americans with Disabilities Act prohibit discrimination on the basis of disability in all programs, services, and activities of public entities and by private entities that own, operate, or lease places of public accommodation.
Fair Housing Act
The Fair Housing Act prohibits discrimination in the sale, rental, and financing of dwellings and in other housing-related activities based on disability, among other protected classes. Generally, the Fair Housing Act applies to a broad range of persons and entities, including public housing agencies, property owners, landlords, housing managers, real estate agents, brokerage service agencies, and banks. The Fair Housing Act prohibits a broad range of discriminatory activities and statements. In addition, persons and entities covered by the Fair Housing Act may not coerce, intimidate, threaten or interfere with any individual’s rights under Fair Housing Act. Persons and entities covered by the Fair Housing Act are prohibited from discriminating against applicants or residents because of their disability or the disability of anyone associated with them and from treating persons with disabilities less favorably than others because of their disability.
Section 504 of the Rehabilitation Act of 1973 (Section 504)
Section 504 of the Rehabilitation Act provides that no qualified individual with disabilities should, solely by reason of his or her disability, be excluded from the participation in, be denied the benefits of, or be subjected to discrimination under any program or activity receiving federal financial assistance.
Section 504 covers all programs and activities of recipients of HUD financial assistance, including, for example:
- Outreach and public contact, including contact with program applicants and participants
- Eligibility criteria
- Application process
- Admission to the program
- Tenancy, including eviction
- Service delivery
- Physical accessibility of facilities
- Employment policies and practices
Rights of Persons with Disabilities in Federally-Assisted Housing Programs
Federal law makes it illegal for an otherwise qualified individual with a disability, solely because of his or her disability, to be excluded from the participation in, denied the benefits of, or be subjected to discrimination under any program or activity receiving federal financial assistance. An individual with a disability, who is also otherwise qualified for the program, service or activity, is covered under Section 504. To be qualified means the individual meets the essential eligibility requirements, including, for example, income requirements for tenancy, if the program is a housing program, provided those eligibility requirements are not discriminatory and can be met with or without reasonable accommodations or auxiliary aids or services necessary for effective communication.
The Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA)
The ADA is a comprehensive civil rights law for persons with disabilities. Title II of the ADA prohibits discrimination on the basis of disability in all programs, services, and activities provided or made available by public entities (state and local governments and special purpose districts). This includes housing when the housing is provided or made available by a public entity regardless of whether the entity receives federal financial assistance. For example, housing covered by Title II of the ADA includes housing operated by public housing agencies that meet the ADA’s definition of “public entity,” and housing operated by States or units of local government, such as housing on a State university campus.
Title III of the ADA prohibits private entities that own, lease (to and from), and operate places of public accommodation from discriminating on the basis of disability and requires places of public accommodation and commercial facilities to be designed, constructed, and altered in compliance with established accessibility standards. Public accommodations at housing developments include any public areas that are open to the general public, such as a rental office. Public accommodations would also include, for example, shelters and social service establishments.
Filing a Complaint
The mission of the Housing Access Project (a DBA of Potter Handy, LLP) is to ensure individuals with disabilities have equal access to housing opportunities.
The Housing Access Project fulfills its mission by combatting discriminatory housing practices and by assisting individuals in enforcing their housing rights under state and federal fair housing laws.
If you believe you have experienced discrimination on the basis of disability, please contact our Disability Housing Discrimination Attorney for a free consultation (415) 534-1911.