The Federal law protects the rights of housing for people with disabilities. The Fair Housing Act prohibits housing discrimination on the basis of race, color, religion, sex, disability, familial status and national origin. Its coverage includes private housing, housing that receives Federal financial assistance and State and local government housing. It is unlawful to discriminate in any aspect of selling or renting housing or to deny a dwelling to a buyer or renter because of the disability of that individual, an individual associated with the buyer or renter or an individual who intends to live in the residence. Other covered activities may include financing, zoning practices, new construction design and advertising.
The Fair Housing Act requires owners of housing facilities to make reasonable exceptions in their policies and operations to afford people with disabilities equal housing opportunities. For example, a landlord with a “no pets” policy may be required to grant an exception to this rule and allow an individual who is blind to keep a guide dog in the residence. The Fair Housing Act also requires landlords to allow tenants with disabilities to make reasonable access-related modifications to their private living space, as well as to common use spaces. (However, the landlord is not required to pay for these changes.) The Act further requires that new multifamily housing with four or more units be designed and built to allow access for persons with disabilities. This includes accessible common use areas, doors that are wide enough for wheelchairs, kitchens and bathrooms that allow a person using a wheelchair to maneuver and other adaptable features within the units.
For people with disabilities, it can be difficult to find available and affordable housing in Broward County. Here are a few options that are available in Palm Beach County:
The Jewish Association for Residential Care (JARC)
Is a nonprofit, non-sectarian organization that currently operates 10 group homes for adults with developmental disabilities and/or mental illness. JARC’s other services include an adult day training program, supported employment and a supported living apartment program.
Levine Jewish Residential and Family Service
Offers a supported independent living program catering to adults, ages 21 and over, who require some level of supervision but are able to live in their own apartment. They provide specialized programming, transportation, medication management and employment opportunities for residents.
If you are an adult with a disability and need modifications to your home so that you can live more independently please contact Exceptional Designs. They specialize in customized home modifications for people with developmental and/or physical disabilities.
Florida Group Homes
Is an online resource with listings of group homes and assisted living facilities for people with disabilities.
The Florida Developmental Disabilities Council
Publishes an online Housing Resource Guide that identifies and explains the housing resources available in each of Florida’s communities so that people with developmental disabilities will be better able to access the housing they desire.
Americans with Disabilities Act
American with Disabilities Information
National Fair Housing Alliance