How I Got Disability Accommodations (HUD Housing)

Robin Mead

From the wonderful members of the Facebook group: Disability Self-Advocacy and Support in HUD, Section 8 and Low Income Housing

if you like to apply for a disability accommodation, here’s where you can find all the tools you need: Epic Master List of Disability Accommodation Letters for Housing

Margaret Gets an Extra Bedroom

I was trying to increase my voucher to get an extra bedroom for my son. When I asked verbally, they told me there was no funding and it was not possible, but I applied anyway. So, when I got this letter in the mail, I thought for sure this was a denial letter, but then I read it. I’m so happy. This will raise the payment standard, so hopefully I should be able to find something bigger. The note from my son’s neurologist and my own note helped me get me approved. I wanted to share some good news. – Margaret Irwin

Heather Gets a Higher Voucher

I was approved for an accommodation to go over the payment standard. I got a really great place. It really changed my life. The accommodations I needed were: all hardwood floors (because of severe allergies), apartment on the first floor, and housing near public transit.

Ayanna Gets a Deadline Extension

I got a deadline extension on my voucher for almost a whole year (ten months). I contacted: my local Housing Authority, the Executive Director at my Housing Authority, the lawyer at my Housing Authority, my regional HUD office, the HUD field office, and my Senator. At first, the Housing Authority extended it for 60 more days. Then it turned into every month. They had to keep extending it because HUD kept calling them for me. Always stay on top of it. Don’t give up. – Ayanna Asante

Dandelion Applies from Home

Whenever an agency told me I had to go there in person, I requested a disability accommodation. Some places immediately said “yes” with no problem. Some places requested a doctor’s letter (I did not ask my doctor for a special letter. I just emailed a letter I already have). Only one person said “no”. I talked to a Supervisor and the Supervisor said “yes”. Dandelion Finds 30 Open Waiting Lists

Basil Documents Medical Expenses

My housing authority takes my vitamins, minerals, and protein supplements into account when calculating rent, so my monthly payments are lowered. I had to provide a list and receipts the first time. Now every year, I just give an updated list with projected costs.

Camillia Rents an Apartment from Her Daughter

I’ve been able to rent the apartment attached to my daughter’s home (Normally HUD does not allow you to have a family member as your landlord). My doctor sent a note saying it was “medically necessary” to live close to her for help. Camellia’s Section 8 Journey

Basil Gets a New Floor

I requested to remove the carpet before I moved in. I got a doctor’s note that this was needed due to my allergies/pulmonary problems. They put in a nice fake hardwood floor. The Housing Authority owns the building and paid for the flooring.

Delphinium Gets a Wheelchair Ramp

I got approved for public housing to pay for a wheelchair ramp. At first they tried to provide a 3-foot piece of metal that landed in the mud! But I contacted the ADA and the HUD regional office. After that I got a REAL ramp with a flat landing! This picture shows the ramp nicely: 35463881_10208986835627894_6794910614738173952_n.jpg

Tulip Gets Out of Her Lease

I’m getting out of my lease months early because the apartment is making me sicker. Jumping through loopholes is absolutely exhausting, but I’ve been lucky to have decent people working with me.

Delphinium Gets Parking

I requested for our housing association to reassign parking spots to give us one in front of our place. They fought it at first by saying the spots were assigned to specific units. But the ADA trumps assigned parking, and they renumbered two spots!

Bougainvillea Gets an Extra Bedroom

After a car accident, my mom was approved for an extra bedroom for training conditioning and exercise equipment. She had a near-fatal car accident. Then she was in the ICU, then the hospital, then a live-in rehab facility. When she returned to her apartment, her doctor said she needed a separate bedroom just for her physical therapy, occupational therapy, and other equipment for training, conditioning, and doing all her exercises.

Delphinium Gets Four Bedrooms

My Housing Authority switched to the two-heartbeats-per-bedroom rule. I live with my three children and they were going to downsize our housing voucher to a two-bedroom. I submitted four reasonable accommodation requests for separate bedrooms, along with four written requests from doctors. How I Got Four Bedrooms

Margaret Gets Approved for a Higher Voucher

My son was approved for a Section 8 Voucher. We found an apartment that I thought was the best choice for him, but it was more than $300 above the payment standard. How Margaret Rented an Apartment Over Payment Standard

Camellia Documents Medical Expenses

Once a year, I make a list of  everything health-related that I buy out-of-pocket. I send the list to my doctor once a year and he signs that these things are “medically necessary.”  I keep all receipts and I organize the heck out of what I submit: I include a cover sheet with each category of items with dates and sub-totals followed by the receipts taped to full pages in the order of the cover sheet.

Dandelion is Not Elderly

In my area, the nicest, cheapest places with the shortest waiting lists were Section 8 properties that were elderly or disabled. I called all the ones that said “elderly only” and told them I was a younger person with disabilities. Most of them said because I was disabled I could still apply! I found a wonderful place this way in just six months. Dandelion Gets Nice, Affordable Housing QUICKLY

Rosemary Gets an Emotional Support Animal

Getting an emotional support animal was easy and free. My cat loves her new job. It is the same as her old job, but now she is official. Rosemary Gets an Emotional Support Animal

Tulip Gets a Larger Voucher

I got approved for a voucher that is $200 above the standard payment so that I can be close to my mom, who is my registered caregiver. I had searched diligently for an apartment for about 3 months first, but there were literally no options for me to be near my mom.

Rosemary Documents Medical Expenses

After submitting my medical expenses, my rent lowered $70 per month, and my food stamps increased $50 per month. My expenses were: Minerals, Herbs, Emotional Support Animal expenses (food, litter), and mileage costs to doctors appointments. Rosemary’s Medical Expenses Budget

Basil Stays at the Top of the Waiting List

When Basil got to the top of the Section 8 waiting list, he was happy. And sad. He was too sick to move. Luckily, he figured out a great solution: Basil Gets to the Top of the Section 8 Waiting List… And Stays There

Delphinium Gets an Accessible Apartment

When I lived in public housing, I needed an accessible unit but they told me no units were available. One day I drove past an accessible unit and saw that it was empty. I called the housing authority and they told me that unit was promised to someone on the waiting list. Well, HUDs policy is: current tenants get priority for accessible units over those who are on the waiting list. The housing agency Director attempted to deny me and even guilt me, even though she already knew I needed an accessible unit. After that, I called the HUD regional office and the housing agency was basically forced to give me the place.

Rent Examples

🌷 Scilla lives in Section 8 housing in a one-bedroom apartment. She is disabled and cannot care for herself, so she asks her sister Jasmine to move in with her and take care of her. Here’s how it works: Jasmine and Scilla’s Rent and Bedrooms

🌷 Sally is low-income and disabled. She is unable to care for herself and has no family to help her. Many people in Sally’s situation wind up in state nursing homes or institutions. Luckily, Sally found a better way. By learning about different services available, Sally is able to live in her own apartment, have the care she needs, and afford to cover all her expenses. Meet Jane and Sally

Learn More

🌷 How to Request Disability Accommodations

🌷  Section 8 Guide For the Disabled and Plucky

🌷 How to Get Help or File Complaints for Housing Problems

🌷 Facebook Group: HUD and Section 8 Disabled Residents & Family Members

What Do You Think? 

Please comment below with stories, ideas, questions or suggestions. Please let us know if any links on this page stop working. 

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