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OIG audit reveals public housing tenants with disabilities are getting the shaft
by Lynda Carson (newzland2 [at] gmail.com)
Office of Inspector General Audit:
2022-bo-0001.pdf_600_.jpg
OIG audit reveals public housing tenants with disabilities are getting the shaft

By Lynda Carson - March 13, 2022

According to an audit recently released on February 7, 2022, by the Office of the Inspector General (OIG), persons with disabilities in public housing units subsidized by the Department of Housing and Urban Development (HUD) are getting the shaft because; “HUD does not have adequate policies and procedures for ensuring that Public Housing Agencies (PHAs) properly processed requests for reasonable accommodation.”

That’s right. According to OIG, all of you poor folks with disabilities residing in public housing units who have wondered why your requests for a reasonable accommodation have been ignored, or wondered why it is very difficult to have your requests for a reasonable accommodation to be processed, it is because HUD does not have adequate policies or procedures in place to ensure that reasonable accommodation requests are being properly addressed.

According to the Center on Disability during 2017, 21% of persons in public housing units across the nation have a disability. During the same year, reportedly 17% of persons residing in public housing units in Oakland have a disability, and 16% of public housing tenants in San Francisco have disabilities.

According to OIG, “A public housing agency (PHA) must provide access to housing for qualified disabled individuals in the same manner as for those who are not disabled and provide reasonable accommodations, modifications, or both when necessary.

Failure to provide a reasonable accommodation may be construed as disability discrimination and housing discrimination complaints based on a failure to provide a reasonable accommodation were generally increasing every year from fiscal years 2009 to 2019, even as the total number of all housing discrimination complaints was decreasing.”

Additionally, according to OIG:

The following examples are common reasonable accommodations and modifications:

• A PHA has a policy of not providing assigned parking spaces. A tenant with a mobility impairment, who has difficulty walking, is provided a reasonable accommodation by receiving an assigned accessible parking space in front of his or her unit.

• A PHA has a policy of requiring tenants to hand-deliver their rent payments to the rental office. A tenant with a mental disability, who is afraid to leave his or her unit, is provided a reasonable accommodation by being allowed to mail the rent payments.

• A PHA has a no pets policy. A tenant who uses a wheelchair and has difficulty lifting items off the ground can have an assistance animal that fetches items for him or her as a reasonable accommodation to that disability.

• Structural modifications might include adding grab bars to the tenant’s bathroom, installing a ramp to enter a building for a wheelchair-bound tenant, or lowering the entry threshold of the tenant’s unit.

Meanwhile, HUD does not have adequate policies or procedures in place to ensure that reasonable accommodation requests are being properly addressed?

Isn’t it a pity, and isn’t a shame that public housing tenants with disabilities in the year of 2022 are still facing obstacles when requesting reasonable accommodations in regards to their housing needs?

Additionally, according to the recent OIG audit:

A) HUD Did Not Have Adequate Policies and Procedures for Ensuring That Public Housing Agencies Properly Processed Requests for Reasonable Accommodation.

B) HUD Did Not Provide Adequate Oversight of PHAs Policies and Procedures for Reasonable Accommodation Requests

C) HUD Did Not Have Centralized Guidance

D) PIH Field Offices Did Not Provide Consistent Oversight of Reasonable Accommodation Policies

E) PHAs May Not Be Properly Implementing Existing Requirements or Understand All Their Responsibilities Related to Requests for Reasonable Accommodation

F) HUD Did Not Conduct Civil Rights Front-End Reviews

Click here for more information about the OIG audit.

Persons with disabilities who believe they faced housing discrimination may be assisted clicking here, or here by clicking here.

Lynda Carson may be reached at newzland2 [at] gmail.com

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