How to Handle Requests for Reasonable Accommodations

Under the federal Fair Housing Act and HUD guidelines, you must make every effort to provide “reasonable accommodations” at your site for residents with disabilities. For example, if a resident with limited mobility requests a ground-floor unit, HUD expects that you would try to accommodate the request. If a prospective resident needs a larger unit than your occupancy standards dictate in order to provide space for a live-in aide, HUD wants you to attempt to provide the extra space. In fact, these are two common reasonable accommodations requests—for ground-floor units and for larger units.

To make sure you get all the information you need to evaluate the request—and don't inadvertently ask for information you're not entitled to—consider using forms to document the reasonable accommodation request and the verification of the resident's need for the accommodation. For an example, click here. Note, however, that you cannot require a resident to fill out a form as a condition of considering his request for a reasonable accommodation.