Federal nondiscrimination laws provide housing protections for individuals with disabilities. These protections apply in most private housing, state and local government housing, public housing and any other federally-assisted housing programs and activities. The Fair Housing Act prohibits discrimination in housing and housing-related transactions because of disability. Section 504 of the Rehabilitation Act prohibits discrimination on the basis of disability in any program or activity receiving federal financial assistance. Titles II and III of the Americans with Disabilities Act prohibit discrimination on the basis of disability in all programs, services, and activities of public entities and by private entities that own, operate, or lease places of public accommodation.
Fair Housing Act
The Fair Housing Act prohibits discrimination in the sale, rental, and financing of dwellings and in other housing-related activities based on disability, among other protected classes. Generally, the Fair Housing Act applies to a broad range of persons and entities, including public housing agencies, property owners, landlords, housing managers, real estate agents, brokerage service agencies, and banks. The Fair Housing Act prohibits a broad range of discriminatory activities and statements. In addition, persons and entities covered by the Fair Housing Act may not coerce, intimidate, threaten or interfere with any individual’s rights under Fair Housing Act. Persons and entities covered by the Fair Housing Act are prohibited from discriminating against applicants or residents because of their disability or the disability of anyone associated with them and from treating persons with disabilities less favorably than others because of their disability. For more information, see Fair Housing Act Overview.
Section 504 of the Rehabilitation Act of 1973 (Section 504)
Section 504 of the Rehabilitation Act provides that no qualified individual with disabilities should, solely by reason of his or her disability, be excluded from the participation in, be denied the benefits of, or be subjected to discrimination under any program or activity receiving federal financial assistance.
Section 504 covers all programs and activities of recipients of HUD financial assistance, including, for example:
• Outreach and public contact, including contact with program applicants and participants
• Eligibility criteria
• Application process
• Admission to the program
• Tenancy, including eviction
• Service delivery
• Physical accessibility of facilities
• Employment policies and practices
Rights of Persons with Disabilities in Federally-Assisted Housing Programs
Federal law makes it illegal for an otherwise qualified individual with a disability, solely because of his or her disability, to be excluded from the participation in, denied the benefits of, or be subjected to discrimination under any program or activity receiving federal financial assistance. An individual with a disability, who is also otherwise qualified for the program, service or activity, is covered under Section 504. To be qualified means the individual meets the essential eligibility requirements, including, for example, income requirements for tenancy, if the program is a housing program, provided those eligibility requirements are not discriminatory and can be met with or without reasonable accommodations or auxiliary aids or services necessary for effective communication.
For more information on the rights of persons with disabilities in federally-assisted housing as well as the responsibilities of housing providers who receive federal financial assistance, visit Non-Discrimination in Housing and Community Development Programs.
Zoning and Land Use
The Fair Housing Act, the ADA, and Section 504 prohibit state and local land use and zoning laws, policies, and practices that discriminate because of disability. For more information, see the Joint Statement of DOJ and HUD on Group Homes, Local Land Use, and the Fair Housing Act.
Filing a Complaint
If you believe you have experienced discrimination on the basis of disability, you may file a complaint with HUD.
- Reasonable Accommodations
- Assistance Animals
- Fair Housing Accessibility FIRST
- Fair Housing and Related Laws
- Accessibility Requirements For Buildings
- Disability Overview
- FAQ on Section 504
- Physical Accessibility
- Integrated, Community-Based Settings
- Effective Communication
See – HUD Disability Overview