Section 504 Reasonable Accommodations
The Housing Authority of the City of Pueblo has implemented policies and practices designed to provide assurances that all persons with disabilities will be provided reasonable accommodations so that they may fully access and utilize the housing programs and related services.
Section 504 Defined:
Section 504 of the Rehabilitation Act of 1973, as amended, stipulates that
“no otherwise qualified individual with disabilities in the United States shall
solely by reason of the disability, be excluded from the participation in, be
denied the benefits of, or be subjected to discrimination under any
program or activities receiving Federal financial assistance. The Fair
Housing Amendments Act regulations state “It shall be unlawful for any person to refuse to make reasonable accommodations in rules, policies, practices, or services, when such accommodations may be necessary to afford person’s with disabilities equal to use and enjoy a dwelling unit, including public and private use areas.”
Section 504 of the Rehabilitation Act of 1973, as amended, defines individuals with disabilities as any person who:
Information regarding Section 504 reasonable accommodations will be made available to applicants and residents during the admission and occupancy cycle, specifically at the time of application, at leasing, and during the annual recertification. This will include how to request the reasonable accommodations form.
A reasonable accommodation is a change, modification, alteration or adaptation in policy, procedure, practice, program, or facility that provides a qualified individual with a disability the opportunity to participate in, or benefit from, a program (housing or non-housing) or activity.
Requests for reasonable accommodation from persons with disabilities can be presented to any HACP employee, either verbally, by phone, by email, in writing or another equally effective means of communication.
The employee will refer the request to the 504 Coordinator, who may contact the tenant for additional information regarding the request. The Coordinator may also, at this time, ask that the tenant complete a Reasonable Accommodation Request Form, including information regarding the tenant’s health care provider or other qualified persons able to verify the tenant’s disability and need for the accommodation. The Coordinator or the tenant may then contact the tenant’s third-party verifier to request reliable disability-related information confirming that the tenant: (1) meets the definition of a disability as listed above, (2) describes the needed accommodation, and (3) shows a direct relationship between the disability and the need for the requested accommodation. If the third-party verifier does not respond to requests for verification, the Coordinator will engage in interactive dialogue with the tenant in order to generate a solution.
The third-party verifier can use the form provided by HACP or a different means of choice to recommend the request be approved. The request will be approved upon receipt of third-party verification that the accommodation meets the need presented by the disability and does not result in substantial alteration of the program and cause undue financial or administrative burden on HACP.
Tenants are not required to provide verification of disability or need for the requested accommodation if the disability and/or need is obvious and known to HACP.
If a tenant is denied a reasonable accommodation, the denial letter will state the specific reason or reasons regarding the denial. The letter will also state the tenant may file a grievance pursuant to the Section 504 Grievance Policy, an additional copy of which will be sent along with the denial letter.
The HACP has implemented procedures to facilitate communication with tenants and applicants in a clear, concise, and effective manner. Our goal is, through effective communication, to ensure that individuals with disabilities have an equal opportunity to participate in our programs, services, and activities. As such, HACP will provide appropriate auxiliary aids and services for persons with disabilities when necessary. This could include, but is not limited to:
- Offering information in large type
- Providing additional explanation of program rules and requirements
- Providing auxiliary aids such as a TDD, sign language interpreter, or a reader
HACP will also continue initial and on-going notification of the Section 504 policy and the grievance policy.
Executive Order 13166 requiring agencies and grantees to take affirmative steps to communicate with people who need services or information in a language other than English. (Improving access to Services for Persons with Limited English Proficiency [LEP])