Epic Master List of Disability Accommodation Letters for Housing

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Art: Robin Mead

Welcome to the Epic Master List of Disability Accommodation Letters!

These letters have been shared by brilliant and kind-hearted readers who wanted to help make life a little easier for others who are low income and disabled. This page includes letters from people with disabilities, as well as letters from family members writing on behalf of their disabled children or loved ones. Letters from doctor’s and providers are also included.

Below you will find letters for private landlords, plus letters for HUD, Section 8, Vouchers, USDA Rural Rental Assistance, Public Housing, and other Low-income Housing programs. If you are looking for employment accommodations: Sample Letter for Workplace Accommodation


What’s In This Guide?

The Basics 

How to Make a Request

What to Do If Denied 

New Pages

New Pages in This Guide

Paperwork

Deadline Extensions

“I Can’t Go to Housing Office”

“I Can’t Talk on the Phone”

Applying

Apply by Mail or Email

Get Back Spot on Wait List

Criminal Background

Credit Checks

Past Evictions

Bad Landlord References

Moving with a Voucher

Faster Housing

Troubleshooting

Get Voucher Back

Get Housing Back

Stopping Evictions

Adding Bedrooms

For Sleeping/Privacy

For Live in Aides

For Other Reasons

Household

Live-in Aides

Assistance Animals

Guests

Landlords

Breaking Lease Early

Paying Rent Late

Parking 

Transferring Apartments or Buildings

Building or Apartment Modifications / Renovations

Vouchers

Longer Search Time / Voucher Extension 

Higher Voucher / Exception to Payment Standard

Rent from Relative / Relative as Landlord 

Porting or Moving / Exception to Moving Policies

Live With Other People 

Overlapping Assistance

Higher Utility Allowance 

Buying a House

Lowering Rent

Lower Rent

Medical Expenses

Earned Income 

Policies for Caregivers

All Situations

Sample Letter from You

Sample Letter from Provider

During Coronavirus

Rent & Housing in the Time of Coronavirus

More News & Updates

 


HOW TO MAKE AN ACCOMMODATION REQUEST

Definition of Disability

How to Guides

Good Letters

Template Letters

Success Stories

Troubleshooting

Legal Guides

Laws and Policies

Facebook Group

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WHAT TO DO IF YOUR REQUEST IS DENIED

How To Guides

Laws and Policies

Facebook Group

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DEADLINE EXTENSIONS

If your disability makes it difficult to complete paperwork or attend meetings, you can request an accommodation for a deadline extension. This can be a one-time request, or a request for ongoing extensions for all paperwork.

If you are looking for an extension on time to find a landlord with your voucher, look here instead: Request for Voucher Extension 

Sample Letters

Provider Letters

Guides

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REINSTATEMENT ON WAITING LIST

If your disability or symptoms led to you to be taken off a wait list, you may be able to request reinstatement back on the list. Reinstatement should be back to the spot you would be at if you had never been removed. Sometimes this means you will now be at the top.

Sample Letters

Provider Letters

Guides

Success Story

Policies

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GETTING HOUSING BACK 

If your disability or symptoms led to you lose your housing, you may be able to request to get your housing or voucher back. This is called “reinstatement.”

Sample Letters

Provider Letters

Get Help

Guides

Special Circumstances: Meetings & Paperwork

If you lost your housing because of problems with deadlines or paperwork:

Special Circumstances: Domestic Violence and Stalking

If you or someone in your family is a victim of domestic violence, dating violence or stalking. Protects all genders:

Special Circumstances: Drugs & Alcohol

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SKIP MEETINGS / MEETINGS FROM HOME

If your disabilities make it difficult for you to attend meetings in person, you can request a reasonable accommodation to complete housing meetings and paperwork from home. Some housing programs will grant this accommodation easily if you just ask. Others will require a more formal process.

Sample Letters

Provider Letters

Some housing programs don’t require a verification for this request. If they do:

Guide

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STOPPING EVICTIONS

If you received an eviction notice, please contact your local and state legal aide, disability rights, and tenant rights programs to ask for help. If there was a problem caused by your disability (or your child’s disability) you may be able to request an accommodation to prevent eviction. It will help if you can show that the problem has now been resolved.

Get Help

Sample Letters

Provider Letters

How to Guides

Legal Guides

Special Circumstances: Meetings & Paperwork

If your evictions is because of problems with deadlines or paperwork:

Special Protections: Domestic Violence and Stalking

If you or someone in your family is a victim of domestic violence, dating violence or stalking. Protects all genders:

Special Assistance: When a HUD Building Relocates Tenants

If you are being displaced because your building is being sold or renovated. For public housing and subsidized low-income housing:

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ADDITIONAL BEDROOMS

If your disability or symptoms create a need for an additional bedroom, you may be able to request an accommodation for this. You can also make this request for a disabled child or other family member. The most common reasons for this request are storage and use of medical equipment, and space for physical therapy, occupational therapy, and other at-home therapies.

Sample Letters from You

Provider Letters

Guides

Frequently Asked Questions

Success Story

Troubleshooting

Resources

Laws & Policies

Other Accommodations

In some cases, you may also need to make a:

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SEPARATE BEDROOM / PRIVATE BEDROOM

If you are sharing a bedroom, and your disability or symptoms create a need for a separate private bedroom, you may be able to request an accommodation for this. You can also make this request for a disabled child or other family member.

Sample Letters

Provider Letters

Guides

Frequently Asked Questions

Success Stories

Other Accommodations

In some cases, you may also need to make a:

Troubleshooting

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HIGHER PAYMENT STANDARD (VOUCHERS)

If you are unable to find housing that suits your disability needs, you may be able to make a request for a higher voucher. This is called “exception to payment standard” or “going over payment standard.”

This request can be made for a new apartment you have not moved into yet. You can also make this request for a place where you are already living, if the rent is above payment standard and this is causing your portion of rent to be too high.

Sample Letters

Provider Letters

Sample Attachment

How to Guides

Success Stories

Crunch the Numbers

Asking for a Bedroom Instead

If the apartment you want to rent has more bedrooms than the number of bedrooms on your voucher, instead of request a higher payment standard, you can request an additional bedroom. This will automatically raise the payments standard:

Policies & Laws

Resources

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RENT FROM RELATIVE (VOUCHERS)

In many cases, a Housing Authority will not allow you to use a voucher if the house is owned by a relative. If you are unable to find any other landlords offering housing that suits your disability needs, you may be able to request an accommodation.

Sample Letters

Guides

Policy

  • 9.1 of the HUD a policy on housing search and leasing “PIH program regulations: 24 CFR 982.306(d) permits leasing a unit from a relative when needed as a reasonableaccommodation” (Housing Voucher Program Guidebook: House Search and Leasing 9.1)”

Also Helpful

This request would be made the exact same way as a request for a higher payment standard. You can follow the same guidelines:

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LONGER SEARCH TIME (VOUCHERS)

If your disability or symptoms created difficulty with finding a landlord, you may be able to request additional voucher extensions. You can also make this request for a disabled child or other family member.

Sample Letters

Provider Letters

How to Guides

Laws & Policies

Resources

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POLICY CHANGES

If your housing program has a policy that is causing problems for your disability or symptoms, you have a right to request an exception. You can request an exception to ANY policy. However, there are some exceptions the program won’t legally be able to approve.

Sample Letters

Provider Letters

Guide

Success Story

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CREDIT CHECK

If your disability or symptoms led to problems with your credit, you may be able to request an exception to credit check policies. You can also make this request if credit problems were related to disability needs for a disabled child or other family member.

Guides

Sample Letters

Provider Letters

Special Circumstances: Domestic Violence

If you are a survivor of domestic violence, dating violence, or stalking, you may be able to request that your credit history be overlooked based on VAWA laws. Available to all genders.

Related Requests

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CRIMINAL BACKGROUND CHECKS

If your disability or symptoms led to problems with your background check, you may be able to request an exception to background check policies. You can also make this request for a disabled child or other family member. This type of request is not always successful, but some people have had success.

Sample Letters

Provider Letters

Guides

Special Circumstances: Domestic Violence and Stalking

If you or someone in your household is a victim of domestic violence, dating violence or stalking, and this led to a criminal background charge, there may be special protections. Protects all genders:

Related Requests

Other Options: Expungement

In some cases, it is possible to get a criminal charge or conviction expunged (sealed so it cannot be seen). Some areas offer free legal assistance with expungement to prevent homelessness. Contact legal aide and law clinics in your area.


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ASSISTANCE ANIMALS

If your doctor has prescribed an assistance animal, you may request an exception to “no pet” policies and pet fees. You can also make this request for a disabled child or other family member.

Guides

Sample Letter 

Provider Letter (Doctor, Psychiatrist, Counselor, Therapist)

Support Animals are Different Than Service Animals

Laws & Policies

>

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LIVE IN AIDES

If you and your doctor feel that you are in need of a live-in aide to assist you with care because of your disability, you may request that someone be added to your housing as an aide. You can also make this request for a disabled child or other family member.

How to Guides

Making the Request

Sample Forms

Start by asking your housing program for a live in aide request forms. Many programs have their own special forms for this. Here’s a few examples:

Success Story

Laws and Policies

Other Accommodations

You may also need to make a:

Most housing programs automatically grant an additional bedroom. If not:

Plan B: Developmental Disabilities

Applying for a live-in aide is simplest. However, some people do not qualify to be aides. If this is true for your family, there is another type of request you can make for homecare income to be excluded. For people with developmental disabilities (autism, brain injury, cerebral palsy, down syndrome, spina bifida, intellectual disability, etc)

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APPLY FROM HOME

If your disabilities make it too difficult to apply in person, you can request a reasonable accommodation to complete the application process from home. You can also make this request if you are caring for a disabled child or family member and this prevents you from applying in person.

Many housing programs are already set up to accept initial applications by mail, email or online, so no request would be needed at the beginning. However, when you reach the top of the waiting list, they will ask you to come in. You can put in an accommodation request at any point.

Tip: Completing the entire application from home can be difficult. It is usually easier to go apply in person if you are at all able.

Sample Letters

Provider Letters

Some housing programs don’t require a verification for this request. If they do:

Guide

Success Story

Resources

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PARKING

Sample Letters

Provider Letters

A provider letter should may be necessary for this request. Instead, you can provide a copy of your disability parking placard. This can verify your need for an accessible disability parking space.

Guides

Laws & Policies

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GETTING VOUCHER BACK

If your disability or symptoms led to you lose your voucher, you may be able to request to get your housing or voucher back. This is called “reinstatement.”

Sample Letters

Provider Letters

Get Help

Guides

Special Circumstances: Ran Out of Time to Find Landlord

Special Circumstances: Evictions

Special Circumstances: Domestic Violence and Stalking

If you or someone in your family is a victim of domestic violence, dating violence or stalking. Protects all genders:

Special Circumstances: Meetings & Paperwork

If you lost your voucher because or problems with deadlines or paperwork:

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RENTING A ROOM OR LIVING WITH OTHER PEOPLE

There are several different ways you can live with other people while using your housing voucher. Some are disability accommodations, and others anyone can do:

  • Live Somewhere Where They Allow a Room Rental
  • Disability Accommodation for a Room Rental
  • Add Someone to Your Voucher
  • Disability Accommodation to Add Someone
  • Disability Accommodation for Live In Aide
  • Apply together
  • Get Two Apartments
  • Get Two Vouchers
  • Rent a Room in a Family Member’s House
  • Rent Multiple Rooms in a Shared House
  • Move Somewhere with More Flexible Policies

Sample Letters

Provider Letters

Guides

Renting a Room

If you are trying to rent a room in a house (instead of a whole apartment to yourself) you will need to show why this particular arrangement and living space is the best or only one possible for you. Here’s some examples that may be helpful:


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HOME OR BUILDING MODIFICATIONS

Sample Letters

Provider Letters

Guides

Stories

Policies

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PORTING/MOVING (VOUCHERS)

If you have a housing voucher and want to move to another state or another area, this is called “porting.” If your request for porting has been turned down, you are allowed to make an accommodation request if your port is needed for disability or medical reasons. You may be able to request an exception to porting policies if you have been told:

  • “We can’t afford to let you port to that area”
  • “We are not allowing any ports at this time”
  • “You have to wait til your lease is up”
  • “You have to live here for 12 months first” (Note: This last request may not always be approved).

Sample Letters

Provider Letters

Resources

Guides

Laws and Policies

Special Protections: Domestic Violence and Stalking

If you or someone in your family is a victim of domestic violence, dating violence or stalking, you may be able to request exceptions to porting policies under a special law called VAWA. Protects all genders:

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TRANSFERRING BUILDINGS OR APARTMENTS

In some situations, you can request to your landlord to transfer apartments to meet your disability needs. 

When you can request:

  • Apartment with different location
  • Apartment with different features
  • Larger apartment (after you have been approved for an additional bedroom)

What you can request: 

  • Transferring different apartment in same building
  • Transferring to a different building owned by the same landlord
  • No fees for transferring
  • Bypassing the waiting list (Priority over new applicants, not over existing tenants who have also made disability requests)

Sample Letters

Provider Letters

Guides

Stories

Policies

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MEDICAL EXPENSE DEDUCTIONS

If someone in your house is elderly or disabled, you may be eligible for medical expense deductions from your rent.

Guides

Sample Letters

Sample Attachments

Policies

Don’t Qualify?

Some families don’t qualify for medical expense deductions. If you don’t qualify for medical expense deductions, look at:

Resources

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PAYING RENT LATE

If your disability check arrives after the date rent is due, you can make an accommodation request to pay your rent late each month without a late fee.  In some situations, you may be able to make an accommodation request to pay rent late for other disability-related reasons.  

Sample Letters

Provider Letters

While most accommodations need a letter from a doctor or provider, this request is a little different. It might be more appropriate to instead enclose documentation showing that: your income is from disability and your disability check is deposited on a specific date each month. For example: Bank statements showing deposit date, plus any document you have stating that this is disability income.

Guides

Laws and Policies

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HIGHER UTILITY ALLOWANCE (VOUCHERS)

If your disability causes you to use more heat, cooling, water, or electricity, you can make a request for a higher utility allowance. You can also request this on behalf of a child or other family member. If you pay your own utilities, your share of rent will go down. If landlord pays utilities, your share stays the same, but landlord may be able to raise rent without impact you.  

Sample Letters

Provider Letters

Guides

Policies

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EARNED INCOME DISREGARD

If you are unemployed or working a small amount and you go back to work, there is a special rule that can keep your share of the rent from increasing. This rule can also apply to your children or other household members.

Vouchers and Supportive Housing (Disabled Only)

The person who returns to work must be disabled:

Public Housing (Anyone)

The person does NOT need to be disabled. Public Housing is a building owned by a Housing Authority:

Resources

Other Programs for Returning to Work

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FASTER WAITING LIST

You cannot use disability accommodations to move up the waiting list. However, there are a few things you can do:


FACEBOOK GROUP

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COMMUNICATION

Policies

  • HUD Policy Effective Communication & Disabilities: “The Fair Housing Act makes it illegal for housing providers to refuse to make reasonable accommodations, including taking steps that may be necessary to ensure effective communications with individuals with disabilities.”

Guides

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BREAK LEASE EARLY

Ways to break a lease early:

One: Some leases have clauses allowing 30 or 60 day notice. Check your lease.

Two: Some states have laws letting you break lease early for specific reasons. Check your state laws.

Three: Some people make disability accommodation request to break lease without any fees or penalties. See below.

Four: Some people pay to get out of lease. Check with your landlord and research laws in your state to see what it will cost.

Five: Sometimes a landlord is just nice and will allow you to break the lease early if you ask nicely and have a good reason.

Tip: If you have a voucher and you have been living at your current place for less than 12 months, you may need approval from both your landlord and housing your housing authority.

Sample Letters

Provider Letters

Guides

Resources

State Laws:

You can request a reasonable accommodation in ALL STATES to break a lease early. In addition, in some states, you may not even need to request a reasonable accommodation, because there are other laws that will allow you to break the lease. To find out more and learn if there are additional local laws that can help you: Contact Legal Aide & Fair Housing Groups in Your Area.

Here is a partial list of state laws. If your state is not on this list, you can look online to research the laws in your state:

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BUYING A HOUSE

In some cases, you may be able to use your voucher to buy a house. There are a few rules that can make it easier for people with disabilities:

Guides

Success Story

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OTHER LETTERS

Letter for ME or Chronic Fatigue Syndrome


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OVERLAPPING ASSISTANCE (VOUCHERS)

In some situations, you can request “overlapping assistance,” so that your new lease overlaps with your old one. This can make it easier to move (especially if you are disabled) and to find suitable housing.

For example: Jane’s new lease starts on Monday. Her old lease ends on Wednesday. If her voucher fully covers both leases, she has three days of overlapping assistance.

Sample Letters

Provider Letters

Guides


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OVERNIGHT GUESTS

Most landlords and many housing programs have restrictions on how many nights you can guests stay overnight with you. If you or someone in your household is disabled, you may be able to request an exception to these guest policies.

Sample Letters

Provider Letters

Guides

Resources


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PAST EVICTIONS & PAST LANDLORD REFERENCES

If your disability or symptoms led to an eviction or problems with a landlord reference, you may be able to request an exception to background check policies. You can also make this request for a disabled child or other family member. This type of request is not always successful, but some people have had success.

If you have a current eviction notice, look here: Stopping Evictions

Sample Letters

Provider Letters

Guides

Special Circumstances: Domestic Violence and Stalking

If you or someone in your family is a victim of domestic violence, dating violence or stalking. Protects all genders:

Special Circumstances: Meetings & Paperwork

If you lost your housing or housing assistance because or problems with deadlines or paperwork:

Related Requests

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16 thoughts on “Epic Master List of Disability Accommodation Letters for Housing”

  1. Any suggestions for how to ask that maintenance come within a given window? If I make a maintenance request I have to give them permission to come anytime during business hours in the next 2 weeks. This is too big of a window for me, but I don’t know how to explain that I need a more specific window.

    Like

    1. Hi Jan,

      Is there a reason related to your disabilities why you need a shorter time window?

      (I realize that common decency should be a good enough reason, but sadly is not) 🙂

      Like

      1. It’s hard to explain. It’s hard for me to have an expectation of “something happening” that carries on so long. It’s exhausting when I am waiting for a thing to happen.
        Or I might forget.
        Also I tend to not dress if I don’t have a specific reason, but stay in my PJ’s, and I might be showering at a time of day when I have the most energy, which might be afternoon (and they would come right in if I didn’t answer the door).
        I am not sure how much of that I want to actually write on a form and give to my housing manager.

        But like you said, I think just out of common decency, they should have a more reasonable rule for everyone. Even the cable company can give a 4 or 6 hour window, and nobody thinks the cable company has particularly great service.

        Like

        1. Ok, those all seem like good reasons to me 🙂 .

          Do you have a provider or case worker willing to write you a letter? Perhaps you could talk the reasons over with your provider without needing to disclose this level of detail to housing manager?

          You could submit a letter from yourself and/or from your provider.

          Maybe the letter could state that you are requesting that non-emergency maintenance projects be scheduled at specific days and times. You are requesting this accommodation because unscheduled maintenance visits worsen your disability symptoms, and interfere with your ability to function and perform self-care.

          What do you think?

          Like

        2. Although I should say that the low-income plan for internet (from the cable company) is great and that it comes with some cool services (like installation and equipment, as well as coding class and antimalware protection).

          Like

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