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Housing

People with disabilities have rights that protect them from discrimination in housing. If you are a landlord, you are responsible for complying with the Americans with Disabilities Act and other housing laws.

Laws protecting people with disabilities in housing

Several laws protect people with disabilities from discrimination in housing.

Fair Housing Act

The Fair Housing Act protects people with disabilities (and other protected groups of people) from discrimination when:

  • Renting a house or apartment
  • Buying a house
  • Getting a mortgage
  • Getting housing assistance
  • Other housing-related activities

Section 504 of the Rehabilitation Act

Section 504 of the Rehabilitation Act protects people with disabilities from discrimination in any program or activity receiving federal funding. 

Examples: 

  • Can’t be denied access to a program or activity because of their disability
  • Can’t be put in separate programs and services from people without disabilities, 
  • A housing provider that receives federal money can’t:
    • Refuse to sell or rent to people with disabilities
    • Add more qualifications, agreement language, or additional fees for people with disabilities
    • Put people with disabilities all on one floor or in one section of the housing
    • Limit the person’s ability to use common areas
    • Not provide the same services it provides to the other residents

Americans with Disabilities Act

What the ADA Covers

  • Government-owned or government-operated housing
  • Public housing
  • Student and faculty housing at a school
  • Temporary housing during emergency
  • Homeless shelters
  • Nursing homes
  • Hotel pools, lobby, recreation facilities, parking lots, garages, and gathering spaces

What the ADA does not cover

The ADA does not cover privately owned or leased housing that is not open to the general public. 

Examples:

  • Single-family homes
  • Condominiums
  • Apartments

The ADA does cover the areas that the public can visit at private housing, like rental offices and parking lots.

Learn more about the ADA.

Ask us

Do you have questions about housing? Our technical assistant specialists are here to help, Monday to Friday.

You can contact us by phone, email, or online form.

We also offer trainings, webinars, and online courses.

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