If a refugee has a disability, the volunteer working with him or her should be aware of the following in regards to housing:

Underneath the United States Department of Housing and Development Fair Housing Act, persons with disabilities may make reasonable modifications to their dwelling or common use areas if necessary to use the housing. Included persons:

  • Any person who suffers from a physical or mental disability that substantially limits one or more major life activities. For example, disabilities limiting daily activities may be related to hearing, mobility, and visual impairments, chronic alcoholism, chronic mental illness, AIDS, AIDS Related Complex, and mental retardation.

Rights:

  • Some landlords will offer to make reasonable modifications themselves and may not require the tenant to restore the property to the original condition. We would recommend asking the landlord to determine specifics prior to making any modification to the home, ex. installing a ramp or grab bar.

Examples:

  • A building or complex with a no pets policy must allow a visually impaired tenant to keep a guide dog.
  • An apartment complex that offers tenants ample, unassigned parking must honor a request from a mobility-impaired tenant for a reserved space near their apartment if necessary to assure that they can have access to their apartment.

For full details visit, please visit the fair housing website.