Renters’ Rights and Housing Assistance for People with Disabilities

The following is the introduction to a wonderful article on housing assistance for people with disabilities. It comes from the website, “Just Great Lawyers“. I urge the readers to read the whole article as it is extremely informative.

Living independently is a goal for many adult children with disabilities. It’s an important part of having a fulfilling life, and the drive for freedom exists regardless of ability.

Medical advancements, supportive therapies, and architectural trends have made it possible for adult children with special needs to not only live, but thrive among their peers. Today, people with Down syndrome typically live well into their 60s, which is several decades longer than in past generations.

Many people with Down syndrome live and work independently, and so do many other adult children with disabilities. Adults with autism and other intellectual spectrum disorders are no exception.

Most parents never wish to limit their child’s potential, but fear can give way to sheltering. But the truth is, adults with disabilities can form a shelter and a family all their own under the right circumstances.

What is a Disability under the Law?

Before getting started, it’s important to understand what qualifies as a protected disability under the law. Adult children with special needs are one specific class outlined by the Social Security Administration (SSA) who have a “disabling impairment [that] must have started before age 22.” However, there are many qualifying disabilities that receive protection under many areas of the government, including employment, housing, and transportation.

While SSA determines one’s eligibility for disability benefits, the Americans With Disabilities Act (ADA) outlines protections for and definitions of people with disabilities. The ADA is featured in Chapter 126 Equal Opportunity For Individuals With Disabilities under Title 42 of The Public Health And Welfare. Other government agencies have a responsibility to enforce these ADA as well as laws pertaining to housing that are outlined in the next section.

Summary of the ADA: The ADA notes disabilities as mental or physical impairments that inhibit significant aspects of one’s daily life (e.g., everyday routine) and/or bodily functions. Many conditions fall under these definitions, but some may not qualify. The difference is generally the extent to which a condition limits a person’s activities.

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