Fair Housing/Reasonable Accommodation
G. REASONABLE ACCOMMODATIONS POLICY [24 CFR 100.202]
It is the policy of GDPM to be service-directed in the administration of our housing programs, and to exercise and demonstrate a high level of professionalism while providing housing services to families.
A participant with a disability must first ask for a specific change to a policy or practice as an accommodation of their disability before GDPM will treat a person differently than anyone else. GDPM’s policies and practices will be designed to provide assurances that persons with disabilities will be given reasonable accommodations, upon request, so that they may fully access and utilize the housing program and related services. The availability of requesting an accommodation will be made known by including notices on GDPM forms and letters. This policy is intended to afford persons with disabilities an equal opportunity to obtain the same result, to gain the same benefit, or to reach the same level of achievement as those who do not have disabilities and is applicable to all situations described in this Administrative Plan including when a family initiates contact with GDPM, when GDPM initiates contact with a family including when a family applies, and when GDPM schedules or reschedules appointments of any kind.
To be eligible to request a reasonable accommodation, the requester must first certify (if apparent) or verify (if not apparent) that they are a person with a disability under the following ADA definition:
- A physical or mental impairment that substantially limits one or more of the major life activities of an individual;
- A record of such impairment; or
- Being regarded as having such an impairment
Note: This is not the same as the HUD definition used for purposes of determining allowances.
Rehabilitated former drug users and alcoholics are covered under the ADA. However, a current drug user is not covered. In accordance with 5.403, individuals are not considered disabled for eligibility purposes solely on the basis of any drug or alcohol dependence. Individuals whose drug or alcohol addiction is a material factor to their disability are excluded from the definition. Individuals are considered disabled if disabling mental and physical limitations would persist if drug or alcohol abuse discontinued.
Once the person’s status as a qualified person with a disability is confirmed, GDPM will require that a professional third party competent to make the assessment, provides written verification that the person needs the specific accommodation due to their disability and the change is required for them to have equal access to the housing program.
If GDPM finds that the requested accommodation creates an undue administrative or financial burden, GDPM will deny the request and/or present an alternate accommodation that will still meet the need of the person.
An undue administrative burden is one that requires a fundamental alteration of the essential functions of GDPM (i.e., waiving a family obligation).
An undue financial burden is one that when considering the available resources of the agency as a whole, the requested accommodation would pose a severe financial hardship on GDPM.
GDPM will provide a written decision to the person requesting the accommodation within ten working days from the date the written request is received. If a person is denied the accommodation request, the request for services, the request for an auxiliary aide or feels that the alternative suggestions are inadequate, they may request a grievance hearing to review GDPM’s decision either orally or in writing. After the hearing is held, GDPM will provide its written decision to the participant no later than five (5) business days.
Reasonable accommodation will be made for persons with a disability that requires an advocate or accessible offices. A designee will be allowed to provide some information, but only with the permission of the person with the disability.
All GDPM mailings will be made available in an accessible format upon request, as a reasonable accommodation.
After a Reasonable Accommodation has been requested in writing on the Specified Reasonable Accommodation Form, GDPM will schedule a special inspection to verify the need for an additional bedroom(s) for the accommodation. GDPM’s inspector will only inspect the equipment or other noted items that may cause the tenant to request the accommodation.