Policies on Reasonable Accommodations for Porting and Moving (Housing Vouchers)

From the HUD Housing Choice Voucher Guidebook: Moves and Portability

5.7 Briefings and Reexaminations 

Some receiving PHAs require ported families to attend a briefing about the receiving PHA’s policies and procedures. This is allowable as long as the briefing does not unduly delay the family’s housing search and reasonable accommodation requests are granted for persons with disabilities.

9 Fair Housing and Equal Opportunity Requirements

This section provides an overview of the fair housing and equal opportunity requirements that may commonly arise during the portability process. However, please see the Fair Housing Requirements chapter.

PHAs must consider requests for reasonable accommodations that may be necessary for an individual with a disability to use and enjoy a dwelling or participate in or benefit from the program (in accordance with the Fair Housing Act, Section 504 of the Rehabilitation Act, and the Americans with Disabilities Act and HUD’s implementing regulations at 24 CFR 100.204, 24 CFR 8.33, and 28 CFR parts 35 and 36.). An individual with a disability can request a reasonable accommodation to any rules, policies, practices or services at any time.

9.1 Reasonable Accommodations in the Portability Context

A reasonable accommodation may arise, for example, when a request to move is due to a disability of a family member. This provision applies even if a family might otherwise be restricted from moving (e.g., under a “one move per year” policy or because of insufficient funding).

In cases where the limitation on portability is a discretionary policy of the PHA, the PHA must grant the accommodation unless doing so would impose an undue financial and administrative burden to the PHA. There must be a nexus between the person’s disability and the reasonable accommodation requested.

If portability is not allowed by regulation, the PHA must first assess whether the requested accommodation would impose an undue financial and administrative burden. If this assessment confirms no undue burden, the PHA must  request a waiver of the regulatory provision from HUD.

Note: With respect to voucher extensions, both receiving and initial PHAs need to consider that individuals with disabilities and families that include a member with a disability may require additional time to locate a suitable unit and may also request an extension as a reasonable accommodation. Other examples of when reasonable accommodation requests could arise include requesting that specific receiving PHA policies are provided to the family under the explanation of how portability works, requesting additional details about a receiving PHA when selecting the receiving PHA, and requesting a larger unit size.

Example: PHA Reasonable Accommodation Policy: The PHA has a policy that allows only one move per year. A qualified family has requested a reasonable accommodation to move for a second time during a one-year period. The PHA will have to allow the move as a reasonable accommodation if allowing such a move would not impose an undue financial and administrative burden on the PHA.

9.2 Reasonable Accommodation and Insufficient Funding 

In cases where a PHA determines it has insufficient funding to allow a move (provided that all of HUD requirements are met; see Section 3.3 for more information) the PHA must consider a request for a reasonable accommodation.

A PHA must grant a reasonable accommodation request unless it constitutes an undue financial and administrative burden, a fundamental alteration to the program, or results in a direct threat that cannot be reduced or eliminated by another reasonable accommodation. Such determination is subject to review by HUD.

From: F24 CFR § 982.353 – Where family can lease a unit with tenant-based assistance.

(2) The following apply during the 12 month period from the time when a family described in paragraph (c)(1) of this section is admitted to the program:

(i) The family may lease a unit anywhere in the jurisdiction of the initial PHA;

(ii) The family does not have any right to portability;

(iii) The initial PHA may choose to allow portability during this period.

(3) If the initial PHA approves, the family may lease a unit outside the PHA jurisdiction under portability procedures.

Thanks for Reading

🌸 Here’s where you can find more about Sample Letters for Moving or Porting Your Voucher

🌸 Learn More: The Sleepy Girl Affordable Housing Survival Guide

🌸 Art on this page by Robin Mead and Elizabeth D’Angelo.

🌸 Facebook group for people with disabilities and family members: Disability Support & Self Advocacy in HUD & Section 8 Housing

🌸 Page Updated: 1/10/20

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