“When I asked verbally about a separate bedroom for my son, they told me there was no funding and it was not possible, but I applied anyway with letters from myself and my son’s doctor. I got the notice in the mail today, and I thought for sure it would be a denial, but then I read it. It was approved. I’m so happy.” – Margaret Irwin
“My mom had a near-fatal car accident. When she returned from the rehab facility, her doctor wrote a letter and she was granted an additional bedroom for her physical therapy, occupational therapy, and other equipment for training and conditioning.” – Bougainvillea
Disability Accommodations for Additional Bedrooms
If someone in your household is disabled and has a disability need for an additional room, you can request a larger voucher, or a larger apartment. Five common requests:
Private Bedroom – A disabled person is sharing a room and needs their own bedroom because of their disability. This request can be made for a child or an adult. Sample Letters for Separate Bedrooms
Medical Equipment – Additional room needed for the storage and use of medical equipment and supplies. Sample Letters for Rooms for Equipment
Home Therapies – Additional room needed for in-home physical therapy, occupational therapy, or other therapies. Sample Letters for Rooms for Therapies
Live in Aide – If you are approved for a live-in aide, most housing programs will automatically grant you an additional bedroom. Information on Requesting Live-in Aides
Other Disability Needs – There are no specific rules or restrictions on why you can or can’t ask for a bedroom. If your doctor feels it is medically-necessary for your disability needs, you can request it. For example: Some of our readers have been approved for bedrooms for off-gassing items when needed for Multiple Chemical Sensitivities. Sample letters for Requesting Additional Rooms
Other Ways to Change Bedroom Size
Sometimes you don’t need to make an accommodation request. Here’s a few other ways your bedroom size can go up:
Change your location or household: Your number of bedrooms can change from moving to a new area; Changing buildings in the same area; Or adding a household member; Learn more about How Bedroom Policies Work
Find a good deal: If you have a voucher, and you find a place within your voucher price range, and this place just happens to have and extra bedroom, you’re in luck. Most housing authorities will let you just rent it without needing to make any special requests!
What Happens if Your Request is Approved
If you have a voucher, your voucher goes up. For example, a voucher of $1,000 for a one bedroom might increase to a voucher of $1,200 for a two bedroom. You will not pay more! How Much Will My Voucher Raise?
If you don’t have a voucher but live in a HUD-subsidized apartment, you can request to transfer to a different apartment in the building with more bedrooms (assuming this exists) or to a different building owned by the same landlord. Again, you will not pay more.
Warning: If your apartment is not subsidized by HUD and you do not have a voucher… this accommodation may not help you. You will be able to switch apartments, but your rent might go up. For example, an apartment in a low income tax credit building… these apartments receive some funding, but most of them do not have HUD subsidies, so…. when you switch apartments, your rent raises.
Will My Share of the Rent Change?
If you have a housing voucher or live in HUD housing, in most situations, your share of the rent will not change. The amount the landlord receives will go up, though. If I Get an Additional Bedroom, Will My Rent Go Up?
If you have a housing voucher, and you are already living in an apartment with too many bedrooms, your share of rent may even go down!
Troubleshooting: Sleeping in Living Room
Some reader’s report that their disability accommodation requests were denied because the housing program decided that one person could sleep in the living room, eliminating the need for an additional bedroom. More about how to address this situation is on this page: Reasonable Accommodations & Sleeping in Living Room
Troubleshooting: Switching Rooms
Another reason a request can be denied is because the housing program decided that other people in the family can switch rooms and become roommates. It will depend on your Housing Authorities bedroom policy: How Bedroom Policies Work.
Use of Bedroom
After you make the request, they may visit your apartment to confirm if the extra space is needed (For example, if you request a room for medical equipment, they may look at or photograph the medical equipment to see if it can fit in closets or elsewhere).
After you are approved, there may be an annual inspection to confirm that you are properly using the bedroom for the reason listed on your accommodation.
What if My Building Doesn’t Have Any Larger Apartments Open?
If you have a voucher, you can request from your landlord to transfer to a different apartment in the same building. Or you can move anywhere else you wish that will take your voucher. In some cases, you may have to wait until your lease ends, or request an accommodation from the landlord to end lease early.
If you live in a subsidized building, you can request a transfer to any other apartment in that building, or to any other property owned by that landlord. (If your building is owned by a housing authority, then any other property they own).
If there is a wait list for a larger apartment, you can request a reasonable accommodation for a transfer and bypass the wait list. (You can request to bypass others on the wait list, but if someone else already living in the building also requested a disability accommodation to transfer apartments, you won’t jump ahead of them).
Learn more about requesting a reasonable accommodation for a transfer
Tools for Troublemakers
Facebook Group: HUD and Section 8 Disabled Residents & Family Members
The whole shebang: Section 8 Guide for the Disabled and Plucky
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