The LHA recognizes a request for reasonable accommodation may be implicit or explicit and will try to grant the request based on either method of the request.
People with disabilities may need a reasonable accommodation in order to take full advantage of the LHA’s housing programs and related services. If an accommodation is granted, it does not confer special treatment or advantage for the person with a disability; rather, it makes the program equally accessible to the person in a way that would otherwise not be possible due to the disability.
This policy clarifies how people can request accommodations and the guidelines the LHA will follow to determine if it is reasonable to provide a requested accommodation.
Notifications of reexamination, inspection, appointment, or eviction may include information about requesting a reasonable accommodation. Any notification requesting action by the tenant will include information about requesting a reasonable accommodation. All decisions granting or denying requests for reasonable accommodations will be in writing.
For this purpose, the definition of person with disabilities is different from the definition used for admission. The Fair Housing definition used for this purpose is: A person with a physical or mental impairment that substantially limits one or more major life activities, has a record of such impairment, or is regarded as having such impairment.
If the disability is apparent or already documented, the answer to this question is yes. It is possible the disability for which the accommodation is being requested is a disability other than the apparent disability. If the disability is not apparent or documented, the LHA will obtain third party verification from an individual competent to render the opinion and who is knowledgeable about the person’s situation that the accommodation requested would remove a barrier that is due to the disability.
To be determined reasonable, the accommodation must meet two criteria:
Would the accommodation constitute a fundamental alteration? The LHA’s business is housing. If the request would alter the fundamental business the LHA conducts, that would not be reasonable. The LHA would deny a request to have the LHA do grocery shopping for a person with disabilities.
Would the requested accommodation create an undue financial hardship or administrative burden? Frequently a requested accommodation costs little or nothing. If the cost would be an undue burden, the LHA may request meeting with the individual to investigate and consider equally effective alternatives.
If it is apparent the request is related to the apparent or documented disability, the answer to this question is yes. If it is not apparent, LHA will obtain documentation the requested accommodation is needed due to the disability. The LHA will not inquire as to the nature of the disability.
The individual knows best what he or she needs, however, the LHA retains the right to be shown how the requested accommodation enables the individual to access or use the LHA’s programs or services.
If more than one accommodation is equally effective in providing access to the LHA’s programs and services, the LHA retains the right to select the most efficient or economic choice.
If the tenant requests as a reasonable accommodation he or she be permitted to make physical modifications to the dwelling unit at his or her own expense, the LHA may approve the request. The LHA reserves the right to deny the request if it violates codes or affects structural integrity of the unit, or for any other reason.
The LHA will approve or deny a request for reasonable accommodation within a reasonable time. If the LHA denies a request for a reasonable accommodation, the individual has a right of appeal to the Reasonable Accommodation Coordinator.
The LHA will not approve a request for an accommodation that would enable a tenant to materially violate any term of the lease with the LHA.