Tuesday, March 15, 2016

Fair Housing for People with Disabilities

Memphis Fair Housing Center offers free help

The Benjamin Hooks Public Library
The 1988 Fair Housing Amendments Act extends the civil rights protection of the Fair Housing Act to people with disabilities much like the 1990 Americans with Disabilities Act. To further our mission to fully integrate people with disabilities, MCIL worked with the Urban Institute on a national study that was published last June on “Discrimination in the Rental Housing Market Against People Who are Deaf and People Who Use Wheelchairs.”

The study found:
  • Providers are less likely to respond to homeseekers who are deaf or hard of hearing.
  • People who use wheelchairs are more likely to be denied appointments to view rental housing.
  • People who use wheelchairs are less likely to be told about or shown units that are suitable.
  • Housing providers fail to provide a clear response or explicitly deny a quarter of the homeseekers who request a reasonable modification.

MCIL was proud to take part in this national survey but it is most important that you take action if you feel you have been discriminated against. It is illegal to deny housing to a person because of a disability or creating different terms and conditions for a person with a disability. The 1988 Fair Housing Amendments Act requires renters to make some reasonable modifications for people with disabilities and renters must make reasonable accommodations to policies and practices.  

People with disabilities do face discrimination and you may need help with determining if you are protected, what is illegal and what the law requires. The Memphis Fair Housing Center offers assistance for free each month at the Benjamin Hooks Main Public Library. Each third Tuesday of the month at 3030 Poplar you can meet with an attorney from the Memphis Fair Housing Center.

The Memphis Fair housing Center investigates complaints of discrimination because of a mental or physical disability. You may contact the Memphis Fair Housing Center at: 901-432-4663. MFHC is open Monday through Friday, from 8:30 am to 5:00 pm.