After making a reasonable accommodation request for a separate bedroom, some people are running into a problem:
The Housing Authority finds that the request is valid, but then states that another household member can sleep in the living room or in a den, eliminating the need for an additional bedroom.
Family of four with a two bedroom voucher. Housing Authority states that two people can share a room, disabled child can have private room, and mom can sleep in living room. Two bedroom voucher stays two bedrooms.
Will My Housing Authority Make Me Sleep in the Living Room?
Maybe. Not all housing authorities have a “sleep in the living room” policy. You may be able to find their policy on their website, it is often included in a document called “administrative plan.” Or you can request a copy of their occupancy policy, Or you can ask where you can find a copy of their administrative plan. How Bedrooms Work (Housing Vouchers)
If your Housing Authority has this policy, here’s a few options:
Option One: Sleep in living room
Obviously, if someone is able to actually sleep in the room Without causing significant problems for your family, you can do this and then you do not need the accommodation.
Option Two: Explain Why Someone Can’t Sleep in the Living Room
If there is a reason why someone sleeping in the living room might cause a problem for the disabled person, you and your doctor can include this reason in your accommodation request. Examples of Reasons Someone Cannot Sleep In Living Room
Option Three: Learn the Fair Housing Act definition of disability
This will help you understand who in your family is and is not eligible to make reasonable accommodation requests. The fair housing act definition is different than the Social Security administration definition, a person does not need to be receiving Social Security benefits to make this request. Fair Housing Act Definition of Disability
Option Four: Submit Multiple Requests
If more than one person in your household is disabled, some families make more than one reasonable accommodation request for a bedroom. Each person would need a separate providers letter or doctors letter explaining the disability-related need. Depending on the bedroom occupancy policy for your housing program, this may or may not lead to additional bedrooms.
Option Five: Learn the Types of Requests for Bedrooms
There are five different ways bedrooms can increase: Five Types of Requests for Additional Bedrooms
Number of bedrooms can also change by changing housing authorities, adding household members, or finding a place that is within your voucher price range and just happens to have an extra bedroom: How Bedroom Policies Work
Option Six: Appeal
If your request was denied and the housing program wrote that someone can sleep in the living room: It is possible to appeal this decision if there is reason why someone sleeping in the living room would interfere with disability needs. This kind of appeal is not always successful. Ideally, your appeal would be documented by a doctor or provider, and include a strong disability related reason. Examples of Reasons Someone Cannot Sleep In Living Room
Option Seven: Resubmit
Easier than an appeal: You can resubmit the request. Send a short note stating that you are making a new request for a bedroom and that your new doctor’s letter includes more details and verifies the reasons why sleeping in the living room is not a suitable arrangement for your family. Then attach original doctor’s letter plus new letter about the living room.
🌸 This page is part of the free online guide: Epic Master List of Disability Accommodation Letters
🌸 Facebook Group: HUD and Section 8 Disabled Residents & Family Members
Updated February 2020. Please comment below with stories, ideas, questions or suggestions. Please let us know if any links on this page stop working. If you found this page helpful, please share it with others by pressing one of these magic little buttons: