Shared housing programs in New Orleans offer tenants a decent, safe, and affordable living environment, as well as tenant rights and connections on a voluntary and flexible basis. The Fair Housing Act prohibits discrimination in housing based on race, color, religion, sex, national origin, family status, and disability. This means that housing providers must make reasonable exceptions in their policies and operations to provide people with disabilities with equal housing opportunities. The Department of Justice (DOJ) and the Department of Housing and Urban Development (HUD) are jointly responsible for enforcing the Fair Housing Act.
If a person is denied housing due to their disability, they can file a complaint with the Fair Housing Act to challenge that decision. It is often beneficial to both the resident and the housing provider if the request is made in writing. The Fair Housing Act requires homeowners to make reasonable accommodations for people with disabilities. This includes structural changes made to existing facilities so that they can fully enjoy the facilities.
It also includes providing accessible systems for people with visual or hearing impairments. For instance, a system that only provides results in visual format may not be accessible to people with visual disabilities and a system that only provides results in audio format may not be accessible to people who are deaf or hard of hearing. It is essential for all stakeholders to have an interactive process in which the housing provider and the applicant discuss the needs of the applicant in relation to their disability. This often results in an effective accommodation for the applicant that does not place an undue financial and administrative burden on the provider.
The Fair Housing Act requires housing providers to grant requests for reasonable accommodations and modifications to housing, programs, and activities. This ensures that people with disabilities have access to shared housing opportunities in New Orleans.