To insure accessibility for people with disabilities, the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development (HUD) has provided many rules to the public housing commission (PHC) that administer the vouchers.
Here are some examples of those provisions:
Reasonable accommodation is when a small change is made to a process or rule to enable a person with a disability to participate in an activity or program. This was established under the provision of Section 504 of the Rehabilitation Act of 1973. The Section 8 application process can be a barrier to people with disabilities. Some individuals may have difficulty standing in line outside, completing the application, or understanding the deadlines. Examples of reasonable accommodation in the application process may include additional time to submit applications, allowing for supports to attend meetings, and for home visits for completion of the application. Higher monthly rent payments may be needed by a person with a disability in order to locate suitable housing, including barrier-free, accessible housing, housing close to public transportation, or supports. Also, persons with disabilities may rent from relatives.
Live-in aide. A household using Section 8 may also include a live-in aide who resides in the home. A live-in aide can be used by a person who is elderly or has a disability. The aide is defined as being essential to care and well-being of the individual and is not obligated for support of the person, and would not be living in the unit except to provide supportive services. An individual may ask for a reasonable accommodation. Once approved, it will increase the size of the residence and in turn the rental allowance will include a bedroom for the live-in aide.
Outreach alerts. The disability community can play an important role in outreach activities for the PHC. As a reasonable accommodation under the Fair Housing Act, PHC will notify disability organizations ahead of time about their plans to start accepting applications. This insures that eligible people with disabilities are informed about the opportunity to submit Section 8 applications.
Special housing types. PHC must allow special housing types like single room occupancy, group homes, congregate housing and shared housing for people with disabilities as a reasonable accommodation. According to HUD rules, a Section 8 voucher may be used in a group home but the PHC rarely allows for the Section 8 voucher to be used in this manner due to bureaucratic confusion. A person in a group home may be trying to work toward independence and receiving this financial subsidy could be one of a few encouragements to achieve more community inclusion. So, these decisions must be appealed at the Public Housing Commissions, reported to HUD and Fair Housing organizations.