Guide to Reasonable Accommodation for Persons with Disabilities

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It is the policy of the Sioux City Housing Authority (SCHA) to provide reasonable accommodation in housing for applicants and program participants with disabilities where reasonable accommodation is needed to provide an equal opportunity to use and enjoy SCHA's housing. SCHA's goal is to provide clean, safe, and affordable housing to low and moderate income persons regardless of disability. This guide will provide you with information about the policy and how it works.

Who is a "Person with a Disability"?

A person with a disability is an individual with a physical or mental impairment that substantially limits one or more major life functions. You can also be considered disabled if you have a record of a physical or mental impairment or people regard you as having such impairment.

A physical impairment is a disorder or condition that affects one or more body systems. A physical impairment can be caused by illness, disease, a birth defect, injury, age or anything else that disrupts a person's physical ability to function. Some examples of physical disabilities are blindness, hearing loss, or inability to walk.

A mental impairment is a mental, psychiatric or psychological disorder. Some examples are mental illness, developmental disability or specific learning disabilities.

Under SCHA policy, you may be considered a person with a disability if your physical or mental condition causes substantial difficulty in performing a major life function. Major life functions include the ability to walk, see, hear, breathe, think, read or care for yourself.

Under some circumstances, alcoholism or a history of drug use may be considered a disability. Current illegal drug use is not a basis for a claim of disability.

What is a "Reasonable Accommodation"?

A reasonable accommodation is a change that can be made to a policy or procedure that will allow a person with a disability to have an equal opportunity to participate in SCHA housing programs. Any accommodation considered by the SCHA cannot result in an undue financial or administrative burden or create a fundamental change in a program.

How do I apply for a "Reasonable Accommodation"?

If you need an accommodation in order to apply for, or participate in SCHA housing, you should make the request at the Housing Assistance Center, Room 107, 405 6th St., Sioux City, IA, for any of SCHA's programs. Some examples of the types of accommodation that might be needed include a sign language interpreter, or having the application materials sent to you.

Your request for reasonable accommodation will be submitted in writing. The SCHA encourages the use of SCHA's "Request for Reasonable Accommodation", form. SCHA will provide assistance in completing this form, if requested. If this is not workable for you, the SCHA will assure that all information requested on the form is provided to Sioux City Housing Authority by some other means with the form being filled in by staff. Any clarifying information will be attached to the form.

"Request for Reasonable Accommodation" forms are available at SCHA's office. You can also request a form by calling 712-279-6348, or by e-mailing the Manager at atooley@sioux-city.org. If you need assistance in completing the form, ask a SCHA staff member for help. If necessary, SCHA will provide a reader or sign language interpreter. If you are applying on behalf of a family member, you will be asked which family member has a disability and what kinds of changes are requested.

SCHA requires independent verification of the applicant or program participant's disability (e.g. by a doctor, licensed professional representing a rehabilitation center, disability agency, or clinic, or the supervisor of a case manager representing a disability agency). The above professional may also be asked to certify and explain how the requested accommodation is related to the disability and will be effective in providing accommodation. It is important that you meet any deadlines for requests for information. Your request may be delayed or denied if you fail to respond in a timely manner. If you need more time, let your SCHA caseworker know.

During the process of evaluating your request you or SCHA staff may request a meeting to discuss the requested accommodation. You may have a friend or advocate with you at the meeting. If you are unable to come to an office, the meeting may be held by telephone. SCHA will provide a reader or sign language interpreter if requested.

How is my request processed?

For Individuals in SCHA's Housing Programs

Reasonable Accommodation will be considered for an individual with a verified disability who currently participates in one of SCHA's housing programs. (Housing Choice Voucher Program and other affordable housing programs)

  1. You may obtain a request form at SCHA's office. The SCHA will accept alternate formats of this information, e.g. TTY printout, etc. These will be attached to SCHA's Reasonable Accommodation form. Your written request for a reasonable accommodation may be submitted at any time.
  2. Your request will be passed to the Manager for review within five (5) working days of receipt. If a determination is made that additional information is needed, you will be notified in writing. You will have ten (10) days to respond to this request for information.
  3. The Manager will notify you, in writing, within thirty (30) days of the decision made regarding your request. The SCHA will ask that you respond to SCHA's proposed accommodation, preferably in writing, within ten (10) working days.
  4. SCHA will provide the accommodation in a timely manner. The implementation schedule will be determined by the nature of the accommodation.
  5. If your request is denied, you will have an opportunity to meet and discuss the denial with the staff person who made the decision. You will be given this contact information in writing.

For Applicants to SCHA's Housing Programs

Reasonable Accommodation will be considered for an applicant with a verified disability who meets basic qualifications for SCHA housing. An applicant must meet income guidelines and pass screening criteria for the respective housing programs. You may obtain a request form at SCHA's office. The SCHA will accept alternate formats of this information, e.g. TTY printout, etc. These will be attached to SCHA's Reasonable Accommodation form. Your written request for a reasonable accommodation may be submitted at any time. Your request will be processed as above.

Some things to keep in mind

  • SCHA considers each request for reasonable accommodation as a separate request. Just because one person has a request approved does not mean that all requests of that type will be approved. The decision will be made on a case-by-case basis with the understanding that each person's needs and circumstances are unique.
  • Whether your request for reasonable accommodation is approved or not, you must follow the provisions of your lease and all program requirements. You must pay your rent, not disturb your neighbors, and not engage in criminal activity.
  • The SCHA may suggest an alternate accommodation from the one you request. The decision on whether an accommodation is approved will be based on its effectiveness in reducing the barriers to equal housing opportunity and on whether or not it involves a fundamental change to SCHA's housing programs or creates an undue financial or administrative burden. Other Remedies

If at anytime you feel your request is not being processed appropriately, you have the right to file a complaint with HUD, or the Sioux City Human Rights Commission (279-0160), or by calling the Fair Housing and Equal Opportunity: Phone 1.800.877.0246

Policy of Non-Discrimination

We are pledged to the letter and the spirit of the Civil Rights Act and all amendments, and all Fair Housing laws.

The SCHA will not discriminate against any person on grounds of race, color, religion, sex, handicap (disability), familial status, national origin, sexual orientation, source of income, age, marital status or gender identity.

We at the SCHA are committed to assuring that discrimination does not occur in any program or activity provided for the benefit of applicants for assistance, program participants or employees.

Important Phone Numbers

  • Sioux City Housing Authority: 712-279-6348
  • Human Rights Commission: 712-279-0160