Reasonable Accommodations and Modifications

Accessible toilet with grab bars

A Reasonable Accommodation is a change, exception, or adjustment to a rule, policy, practice, or service to provide a person with a disability the full enjoyment of their unit and premises.
 
Examples: Allowing a person to have an emotional support animal in a “no pets” building; providing lease agreements and other documents in large type; providing an assigned accessible parking space near a person’s unit.
 
A Reasonable Modification is a structural change to the unit or common and public use areas that the person with a disability will have full enjoyment of the premises. 
 
Examples: Widening doorways to make rooms more accessible for persons in wheelchairs; installing grab bars in bathrooms; lowering kitchen cabinets to a height suitable for persons in wheelchairs; adding a ramp to make a primary entrance accessible for persons in wheelchairs; or altering a walkway to provide access to a public or common use area.
 
How Do I Request a Reasonable Accommodation and/or Reasonable Modification?
  1. Submit a request to the property owner or manager at any time during the application process, after becoming a tenant, or during an eviction.  A representative for a person with a disability may also submit the request. 
  2. A request can be made verbally, in writing, or on a form provided by the property owner or manager.
  3. Be clear and specific.  Describe how it will help you access or remain in the housing unit. There must be a direct connection between the request and the disability. 
  4. If the disability is not obvious (i.e., use of a wheelchair), the property owner/manager may request verification of the disability and whether the accommodation requested is related to it.
 The property owner/manager may not ask the nature or severity of the disability.
 
Reasonable Accommodations and Modifications must be granted as soon as possible unless they would impose an undue financial and administrative burden on the housing provider or require a fundamental change in the nature of the program. 
 
Interactive Process.  If the accommodation or modification cannot be granted as requested, property management staff must engage in an “interactive” process with the tenant.  This means that working together, the property management staff and tenant will try to come up with an alternative to the request that would meet the tenant’s needs.  
 
Who is Responsible for the Cost?  Generally, in affordable housing financed by the City, CRA/LA, or bond-financed, the housing provider is responsible for the costs associated with a reasonable accommodation or modification.