My apartment is not accessible and my landlord refuses to make changes. Does the ADA cover housing?

Published 05/09/2008 07:57 AM   |    Updated 05/21/2009 02:10 PM
My apartment is not accessible and my landlord refuses to make changes. Does the ADA cover housing?

Fair Housing is the law that covers access issues for apartments. Newly constructed apartment housing must have access features built in to a certain percentage of apartments, and common areas must provide access. HUD-funded apartments must also make changes to provide access. In older non-HUD funded apartments and small owner- occupied apartments, landlords are not required to pay for physical changes to provide access, unless the housing provider receives funding from the federal government. However, landlords must allow tenants, at their own expense, to make reasonable changes to their units or to common areas if needed to provide access. Landlords must also modify policies, such as those regarding pets and reserved parking, if needed to accommodate a person with a disability with a service animal or mobility impairment. Both the Indiana and Federal Fair Housing statutes cover disability discrimination in housing and commercial real estate. The Act covers all kinds of housing-related transactions, including but not necessarily limited to rentals, home sales, mortgage lending, homeowner's insurance, home improvement and zoning. To file a complaint or receive more information, contact the Indiana Civil Rights Commission at 800-743-3333 or 232-2600. More specific information on the Fair Housing Act can be found at www.fairhousing.com.

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