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Frequently Asked Questions
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What does the Accessible Housing Program do?
The Accessible Housing Program (AcHP) ensures that people with disabilities have an equal opportunity to rent, use, and enjoy housing that has received financial or other assistance from the City of Los Angeles (City) or the Community Redevelopment Agency of the City of Los Angeles (CRA/LA).
The AcHP covers 730+ existing affordable rental housing developments built before April 2016 and all newly constructed or rehabilitated affordable housing built since then. These developments are referred to as Covered Housing Developments.
The AcHP will:
Ensure that at least 4,000 units in the existing Covered Housing Developments meet federal and state accessibility requirements, and contain the required number of:
- Mobility Units designed for people who have mobility disabilities, including people who use wheelchairs.
- Hearing/Vision Units designed with features for people with hearing and vision disabilities;
- Ensure that all rental housing financed or assisted by the City or the CRA/LA meet all federal and state accessibility requirements.
- Require Covered Housing Developments to adopt and carry out nondiscriminatory property management policies;
- Provide training to property owners and management staff of Covered Housing Developments on required accessibility and non-discrimination laws, regulations, and policies;
- Provide a Grievance Procedure; and
- Develop an Accessible Housing Registry website that allows people with disabilities to identify accessible, affordable units in Covered Housing Developments, apply online to rent vacant units, be placed on waiting lists for those units (if the waiting list is open), and learn when vacant units are available.
The AcHP is administered by the Los Angeles Housing and Community Investment Department (HCIDLA) on behalf of the City.
How do I find Accessible Housing?
There are several ways to find accessible housing, however, the main way to search for accessible housing is to go online.
The Accessible Housing Program has developed a web-based, online tool that any member of the public with access the internet, can use. You can search for accessible housing using different filters, including council district, number of bedrooms and other variables. Click "Begin Your Search for Accessible Housing" on Home page.
How do I register my property on the Accessible Housing Website?
A detailed User Guide has been created to assist Housing Providers with navigating the AcHP compliance website. The complete User Guide can be downloaded by clicking here.
How do I determine my status on the waiting list?
The best way to check your status on a waiting list is to contact the housing or apartment community you applied to. The method of how to find out your status varies by each office. Some offices are not able to provide your specific position on the waiting list, but can confirm if you are currently on the waiting list.
What are the requirements to qualify for an affordable housing?
Affordable housing units are based upon an individual or families income as it relates to the area median income (AMI). The percentage of the AMI income level varies from unit to unit. You can determine what your income limits are based on the current median household income here.
What constitutes a disability?
Under California law disability is a physical or mental impairment that limits a major life activity. "Limits" means making the achievement of a major life activity difficult.
"Major Life Activity" includes: caring for oneself, performing manual tasks, seeing, hearing, eating, sleeping, walking, standing, lifting, bending, speaking, breathing, learning, reading, concentrating, thinking, communicating and working, and major bodily functions.
Are applicants with a disability treated differently?
Applications submitted by individuals with a disability are eligible to receive reasonable accommodations. People with disabilities have the right to an equal opportunity to enjoy housing. Because of this, the housing provider must allow applicants for housing to request reasonable modifications to the premises and must allow applicant to make requests for reasonable accommodations. Reasonable modifications speak to structural or physical changes to a unit or common space; reasonable accommodations involve changes to rules, practices, and services.
What questions can be asked to prove I have a disability?
What constitutes an accessible unit?
What is a reasonable modification?
How do I request a reasonable modification?
Typically, you should make a specific request in writing, indicating that you need the requested accommodation or modification because of your disability. The request does not have to give your diagnosis.
It is also possible that, because of your disability, you cannot make a written request at all. In this case, you may make the request orally or ask someone else to do it for you.
Who pays the cost of a Reasonable Modification?
The housing provider must pay for disability-related, reasonable modifications.
What should I do if I receive a request for a Reasonable Modification?
Engage the tenant in an interactive process to determine whether the requested modification or accommodation can be made. The request may be denied only if the tenant does not have a disability as defined by law; there is no correlation between the disability and the request; or the request is not reasonable, i.e., undue burden or fundamental alteration of the nature of the program. All decisions must be in writing.
It is also important to keep an accurate log of all requests, including the nature of the request and its status.
What is a Reasonable Accommodation?
A reasonable accommodation is a change, modification, exception, alteration, or adaptation in rules, policies, practices, programs, or activities that may be necessary to: (1) provide a person with a disability an equal opportunity to use and enjoy a dwelling, including public and common use areas of a development, (2) participate in, or benefit from, a program (housing or non-housing), service or activity; or (3) avoid discrimination against a person with a disability.
What should I do if I receive a request for a Reasonable Accommodation?
Engage the tenant in an interactive process to determine whether the requested modification or accommodation can be made. The request may be denied only if the tenant does not have a disability as defined by law; there is no correlation between the disability and the request; or the request is not reasonable, i.e., undue burden or fundamental alteration of the nature of the program. All decisions must be in writing. It is also important to keep an accurate log of all requests, including the nature of the request and its status.
What if I need a reasonable accommodation but don't know what it is?
You may make a request that says you have a disability which is creating a special need and you want to discuss a reasonable modification or accommodation with the housing manager. Your request can begin a discussion about what would solve the problem.
Can a housing provider have a no pet policy?
Yes, but the federal Fair Housing Act allows you to have your animal at home as a "reasonable accommodation" for your disability when necessary for people with disabilities to have an equal opportunity to enjoy housing. Service animals and emotional support animals are not subject to breed, size, or weight restrictions ordinarily applied to pets and tenants must not be charged pet deposits or pet rent for them. Service animal is a right under the federal Fair Housing Act, whereas an Emotional Support Animal falls under the Reasonable Accommodation process/approval.
What is the difference between a service animal and a emotional support animal?
A service animal is a dog (or miniature horse), individually trained to do a specific task for a person with a disability.
An emotional support animal is any animal, not trained with/for a specific task, which provides emotional support to a person with a disability simply by existing and being near the person.
Unlike a service animal, an emotional support animal is not granted access to places of public accommodation.
What if I have a communication barrier?
All communication must be done in a manner that works best for the individuals that are a party to the communication.
Housing providers must ensure that communication with tenants or applicants with a disability is as effective as communicating with people who don't have disabilities.
Housing providers must provide auxiliary aides and services, upon request, at no cost to the applicant or tenant, in a reasonable amount of time. Furnishing appropriate auxiliary aids and services includes the use of interpreters, transcription or captioning services, accessible electronic materials and websites, and large print, Braille, and other alternate format materials may be necessary.
How do I make a request for communication aids?
Tenants and applicants may request specific communication aids and services at any time by any method.
Do I have to bring my own interpreter?
A housing provider may require an applicant or tenant to furnish their own interpreter in only two situations: (1) in an emergency involving an imminent threat to the safety or welfare of an individual or the public; and (2) in other, non-emergency situations an adult accompanying someone who uses sign language may be relied upon to interpret or facilitate communication when a) the individual requests this, b) the accompanying adult agrees, and c) reliance on the accompanying adult is appropriate under the circumstances.
What if I have a child with a disability?
Families with children with disabilities are protected under federal and state laws that prohibit discrimination against persons with disabilities and families with children. Children with disabilities are entitled to the same rights and privileges as adults with disabilities.
If I've been discriminated against what should I do?
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