A family that consists of one or more elderly, near-elderly, or disabled persons may request that the PHA approve a live-in aide to reside in the unit and provide necessary supportive services for a family member who is a person with disabilities. The PHA must approve a live-in aide if needed as a reasonable accommodation to make the program accessible to and usable by the family member with a disability. At any time, the PHA may refuse to approve a particular person as a live-in aide, or may withdraw such approval, if:
Decisions to approve or deny requests for reasonable accommodations will be made on a case-by-case basis. If the applicant/participant disagrees with the denial of the reasonable accommodation, the applicant may request an informal review, or the participant may request an informal hearing.
Before providing an accommodation, the PHA will determine that the person meets the definition of a person with a disability, and that the accommodation will enhance the family’s access to the program and services. If a person’s disability is obvious or and the need for the requested accommodation is also readily apparent or known, no further verification will be required. If a family indicates that an accommodation is required for a disability that is not obvious or otherwise known, the PHA will verify that the person meets the definition of a person with a disability, and that the limitations imposed by the disability require the requested accommodation.
When verifying a disability, the PHA will follow the verification policies provided by HUD. All information related to a person’s disability will be treated in accordance with privacy policies. In addition to the general requirements that govern all verification efforts, the following requirements apply when verifying a disability:
Third-party verification must be obtained from an individual identified by the family who is competent to make the determination. A doctor or other medical professional, a peer support group, a non-medical service agency, or a reliable third party who is in a position to know about the individual’s disability may provide verification of a disability. The PHA must obtain verification of a Request for Reasonable Accommodation from a knowledgeable professional identified by the family.
The PHA will document its attempt to obtain verification. Verification by third party includes U.S. postal service, fax, email, and when all other means fail, hand-carried by the family or verbally by a telephone call. However, if verification is not returned by the knowledgeable professional within fifteen (15) calendar days, it is the family’s responsibility to follow-up with the knowledgeable professional.
For continued approval, the family must submit a new, written request subject to the PHA’s verification at each regular reexamination.
The PHA will request only information that is necessary to evaluate the disability-related need for the accommodation and will not inquire about the nature or extent of any disability.
APPROVAL/DENIAL OF A REQUESTED ACCOMMODATION
The Department must approve a request for an accommodation if the following three conditions are met:
Requests for accommodations must be assessed on a case-by-case basis, taking into account factors such as the cost of the requested accommodation, the financial resources of the PHA at the time of the request, the benefits that the accommodation would provide to the family, and the availability of alternative accommodations that would effectively meet the family’s disability-related needs.
Before making a determination whether to approve the request, the PHA may enter into discussion and negotiation with the family, request more information from the family, or may require the family to sign a consent form so that they may verify the need for the requested accommodation.
After a request for an accommodation is presented, the PHA will make every effort to respond to the family within thirty (30) calendar days.
If the PHA denies a request for an accommodation because it is not reasonable, meaning that it would impose an undue financial and administrative burden or fundamentally alter the nature of the PHA’s operations, they will discuss with the family whether an alternative accommodation could effectively address the family’s disability-related needs without a fundamental alteration to the HCV program and without imposing an undue financial and administrative burden.
If the PHA believes that the family has failed to identify a reasonable alternative accommodation after interactive discussion and negotiation, they will make reasonable effort to notify the family of its determination within thirty (30) calendar days from the date of the most recent discussion or communication with the family.