Fair Housing Accessibility FIRST is an initiative designed to promote compliance with the Fair Housing Act design and construction requirements. The program offers comprehensive and detailed instruction programs, useful online web resources, and a toll-free information line for technical guidance and support. HUD is pleased to announce its Fair Housing Accessibility FIRST program trainings. There will be 10 live training events across the country during Spring 2018 to July 2018.
The schedule is on our training calendar. Our 4 webinars have been completed for this contract year. Read more about how to register for these training sessions and webinars. There are no fees for these training sessions. For more information, contact John Ritzu, LCM Program Manager for the Fair Housing Accessibility FIRST Program at 312-913-1717, Ext. 228 or firstname.lastname@example.org. HUD and DOJ Release Joint Statement On Fair Housing Act Design and Construction Requirements The U.
S. Department of Housing and Urban Development(HUD) and the U.S. Department of Justice today issued a Joint Statement on the "Accessibility (Design and Construction) Requirements for Covered Multifamily Dwellings under the Fair Housing Act." The new guidance is designed to help design professionals, developers and builders better understand their obligations and help persons with disabilities better understand their rights regarding the "design and construction" requirements for covered multifamily dwellings under the federal Fair Housing Act.
To see a copy of the press release, click here.To see a copy of the Joint Statement, click here. HUD Issues Guidance On Assistance Animals For Persons With Disabilities HUD has issued a Notice on Service Animals and Assistance Animals for People with Disabilities in Housing. The Notice explains the circumstances under which the Fair Housing Act, Section 504 of the Rehabilitation Act, and the Americans with Disabilities Act may require housing providers to allow applicants and tenants to use “service” and “assistance” animals.
Importantly, HUD explains that housing providers must accommodate applicants and tenants who need an "assistance animal" which includes any animal that "works, provides assistance, or performs tasks for the benefit of a person with a disability, or provides emotional support that alleviates one or more identified symptoms or effects of a person’s disability." To read HUD's Press Release, click here.
To view the Notice, click here. A FIRST LOOK AT ACCESSIBILITY.... Our instruction modules include general information, as well as more specific technical information regarding design and construction requirements, building strategies, various disability rights laws, and enforcement. Sign-up for upcoming FIRST training events and conferences around the U.S.See Also: Wichita Falls Animal Control
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Who is Covered by the Law? Virginia's Fair Housing Law makes it illegal to discriminate in residential housing on the basis of race, color, religion, national origin, sex, elderliness, familial status and disability. The law prohibits applying one standard to one class of individuals while applying a different standard to another class of individuals. For example, it would be illegal to ask an applicant with a disability to provide a credit report if applicants without disabilities do not have to provide one.
WARNING: Websites and organizations offering assistance animal registrations may suggest that purchasing such certification will qualify individuals to bring their animals into pet-free housing or to be exempt from pet deposit fees. The ability to receive a reasonable accommodation is not based on one’s ownership of an assistance animal, but rests instead on the existence of a disability as defined by the fair housing law.
Ownership of an assistance animal—even if registered or certified as such—does not automatically qualify an individual as “disabled” under fair housing law. Fair housing law also prohibits the housing provider from requiring special training or certification for assistance animals. Read Guidance Document or view brochure to learn more. Virginia's Fair Housing Law applies to rental transactions (trying to rent an apartment or house), to sales transactions (trying to purchase a home), to financing transactions (trying to obtain a mortgage), to insurance transactions (trying to obtain homeowners or rental insurance), and to advertising transactions (how individuals, companies and newspapers advertise about rental vacancies or homes for sale).
Historically, most housing complaints have been based on race. Complaints based on disability, however, continue to increase and may eventually displace race as the most frequent topic of housing discrimination complaints. Complaints based on familial status are generally the third most common type of housing complaint. Examples of Protected Classes RaceIt would be illegal to deny someone a housing opportunity because they are black or white.
ColorSome people have darker complexions than others. If would be illegal to deny someone a housing opportunity on that basis. ReligionA housing provider could not refuse to sell or rent to someone because they practice Islam or Christianity. National originA housing provider could not refuse to sell or rent to someone because they are Asian or Jewish. SexExcept for shared living spaces, it would be illegal to rent to one sex (gender) and not the other.
For more information on sexual discrimination, visit the Sexual and Non-Sexual Discrimination page. ElderlinessElderliness means an individual who has attained his 55th birthday. Under this protected class, a housing provider could not deny a housing opportunity to someone because they are age 55 or older. Familial statusFamilial status means having children who are under age 18. Unless a facility is a senior/retirement facility, it may not refuse to rent to families with children.
Senior and retirement facilities for individuals over age 55 or 62 may, however, lawfully refuse to rent to families with children. In terms of occupancy standards as they relate to families and children, the general guideline is that housing providers should allow at least two people per bedroom. In some circumstances landlords should allow more than two people per bedroom, while in other circumstances a bedroom and the total living space would not accommodate two people in every bedroom.
Housing providers should also not dictate in which bedrooms younger children of different sexes sleep, as this is a parental matter. Nor should a housing provider dictate what floor families with children should live on. DisabilityThe law also makes it illegal to deny a housing opportunity to individuals with disabilities. For information about housing and disabilities see Housing and People with Disabilities.
For information on design and construction of multi-family housing with accessible features, see the Design and Construction page. Non-Protected Classes Several groups are not protected under either the state or federal fair housing law. For example, students and smokers are not protected. Income status, sexual orientation, and marital status (unmarried couples) are also not protected groups. However, these classes may be protected under a local ordinance.
Therefore, before drafting a fair housing policy, a housing provider should determine if local ordinances protect certain classes that are not protected by the state or federal law.