How to Find Housing when You’re Medically Disabled
When you’re too sick or injured to work, it’s hard to make ends meet. While you’re waiting to find out if the government will approve your Social Security Disability claim, you may need to find safe, affordable housing.
Perhaps you’re looking to downsize to save money on your current rent or mortgage, or maybe you’re moving because your existing living space is now inaccessible. Whatever your unique situation, the Robertson Wendt Law Firm is here to help guide you during your housing search.
Know Your Rights
Whether you’re looking to buy or rent a property, or if you’re a current tenant with a landlord, it’s important you know your rights. The federal government offers several protections for disabled individuals. First, a property owner can’t discriminate against you because you have a disability. This means you can’t be denied housing, required to pay more for housing or required to agree to different leasing terms just because you have a disability.
Second, property owners are required to make reasonable accommodations for your disability, so that you can enjoy a dwelling unit or common space. For example, if you have a mobility-related disability and live in an apartment complex with unreserved parking, the property owner could be required to provide you with a reserved parking space near your unit. However, landlords are not required to make changes that would be financially or administratively burdensome, such as installing a walk-in shower in your bathroom.
Finally, federal law protects your rights to make your own reasonable modifications to your living space. For example, you have the right to build a wheelchair ramp or install grab bars inside your rented home. While your right to complete these modifications is protected, you are typically required to pay for the expenses yourself.
Know Where You Can Get Help
If you need help finding or paying for housing, there are local options available to you. The U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development (HUD) administers local programs that help disabled people find adequate housing. They even offer Section 8 Vouchers to help pay for housing. In our area, you can contact:
- North Charleston Housing Authority at 843-747-1793
- Charleston Housing Authority at 843-720-3970
- Charleston County Housing & Redevelopment Authority at 843-722-1942
We know that that it’s difficult to make ends meet and keep a roof over your head when you’re suffering from a disability. But we are here to help. Contact us if you believe you’ve been discriminated against in your housing search.