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  What is Reasonable Accommodation?  
  A reasonable accommodation is any modification or change that New Haven Housing Authority’s (HANH) Elm City Communities can make to its apartments or procedures that will assist a resident with a disability in accessing Elm City Communities’ programs, facilities, services and classes. Reasonable Accommodation ensures that no otherwise qualified individual with a disability shall, solely by reason of her or his disability, be excluded from participation in, be denied the benefits of, or be subjected to discrimination under any program, service or activity of Elm City Communities. Reasonable accommodation allows a qualified person with a disability to participate fully in Elm City Communities programs and services.  
     
  Who Qualifies for Reasonable Accommodation?  
  Any public housing resident, applicant or member of a family with a disability would qualify. As defined by the federal government’s Rehabilitation Act of 1973, a person with a disability is an individual who:
  • Has a physical or mental impairment that substantially limits one or more of such person’s major life activities (substantial limitations are evaluated in terms of the severity of the limitation and the length of time it restricts a major life activity. Major life activities include, among other activities: caring for one’s self, performing manual tasks, walking, seeing, hearing, speaking, breathing, learning, concentrating, interacting with others, and working); or
  • Has a record of such an impairment (has a history of or has been classified or misclassified as having a mental or physical impairment) that substantially limits one or more major (life activities); or
  • Is regarded as having such an impairment (has a physical or mental impairment that does not substantially limit major life activities), but is treated by an employer as constituting such a limitation; has a physical or mental impairment that substantially limits major life activities only as a result of the attitude of an employer; or is treated by an employer as having such an impairment.
 
     
  Are There Restrictions or Limitations for Reasonable Accommodation?  
  The individual with the disability must be an authorized household member or listed on the application at the time the application was submitted. There must be an identified relationship between the requested accommodation and the individual’s disability. The requested accommodation has to be needed to allow the disabled individual to enjoy and/or participate equally in our housing programs but
  • Cannot require a fundamental alteration in the nature of the provider’s operations.
  • Cannot impose an undue financial and administrative burden on the housing provider. However, Elm City Communities makes every effort to accommodate its residents who need assistance in overcoming obstacles in moving toward self-sufficiency.
 
     
  How Do I Apply for a Reasonable Accommodation?  
  Notification of the need is necessary. The applicant must complete a Reasonable Accommodation application, which may be obtained any time by calling the Reasonable Accommodation coordinator, Teena Bordeaux, at (203) 498 8800, ext. 1507 or by email at tbordeaux@newhavenhousing.org; at property managers’ offices; or at the Elm City Communities main office, 360 Orange St., New Haven. No proof of disability is needed at the time of application; however, Elm City Communities will verify all information supplied via third party. There is no waiting list.  
     
  What Kinds of Reasonable Accommodations Does Elm City Communities Make?  
  Examples of reasonable accommodations would include but are not limited to:
  • Making alterations to the Elm City Communities unit so it is accessible by a family member with a wheelchair
  • Installing strobe-type flashing light smoke detectors in an apartment for a family with a hearing impaired member
  • Providing large type documents, cassettes or a reader, if available, to an applicant with vision impairment during the application process
  • Providing an interpreter to a resident
  • with impairment during the interview
  • Mobility Counseling
  • Exception Rent
 
     
  What Are the Rights of Disabled Residents?  
  Section 504 of the Rehabilitation Act of 1973 states: “No otherwise qualified individual with a disability in the United States … shall, solely by reason of her or his disability, be excluded from participation in, be denied the benefits of, or be subjected to discrimination under any program, service or activity receiving federal financial assistance or under any program or activity conducted by any Executive agency or by the United States Postal Service.” (29 U.S.C. §794). This means that Section 504 prohibits discrimination on the basis of disability in any program or activity that receives financial assistance from any federal agency, including the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development (HUD) as well as in programs conducted by federal agencies including HUD.  
     
  What Are the Responsibilities of Disabled Residents?  
  The residents must notify Elm City Communities that a reasonable accommodation is needed. Residents must comply with the terms of their lease.  
     
  What Other Discriminatory Practices Does Section 504 Prohibit?  
  Section 504 prohibits discrimination on the basis of disability in any program, service, or activity that receives federal financial assistance. This means, for example, that persons with disabilities may not be denied the opportunity to participate in a program, service, or activity; may not be required to accept a different kind or lesser program or service than what is provided to others, and may not be required to participate in separate programs and services, even if separate programs and services exist. In general, with respect to housing, it means that a housing provider may not deny or refuse to sell or rent to a person with a disability, and may not impose application or qualification criteria, rental fees or sales prices, and rental or sales terms or conditions that are different than those required of or provided to persons who are not disabled. Housing providers may not require persons with disabilities to live only on certain floors, or to all live in one section of the housing. Housing providers may not refuse to make repairs, and may not limit or deny someone with a disability access to recreational and other public and common use facilities, parking privileges, cleaning or janitorial services, or any services, which are made available to other residents. People with disabilities may not be denied the opportunity to serve on planning or advisory boards because of their disabilities.  
     
  Where Can I find More Information on Reasonable Accommodation?  
  Elm City Communities staff can assist you with reasonable accommodation. For more information contact Reasonable Accommodation coordinator Teena Bordeaux at (203) 498 8800 ext. 1507, or email to tbordeaux@newhavenhousing.org. Notices are mailed out to all residents/participants twice a year and booklets are given at annual re-certification and at lease up. Handbooks, notices, regulations and resource material are also available at the Service Center, 360 Orange St., New Haven, (203) 498-8800.  
     
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