Reasonable Accommodation Policy

Chapter 10: Reasonable Accommodations and Appeals

10.1 Appealing Reasonable Accommodation decisions

If BHA denies a Client’s request for an RA or offers an alternative RA with which the Client is not satisfied, the Client may request a hearing from DGA within twenty (20) days of the date of the decision. DGA shall use best efforts to hold the hearing within 30 days of the request.

Please note that the nature and extent of DGA review available to a Client depends on whether he/she is an Applicant, Resident, or Participant.18

10.1.1 Failed internal appeals do not remove offers of accommodation

If BHA offers a Client an alternative accommodation that he/she does not like, and the Client wishes to appeal it, he/she may do so without losing the right to accept the accommodation if BHA prevails at the appeal. This is also the case when BHA proposes an accommodation to resolve a lease/program compliance issue or finding of ineligibility and the Client rejects the accommodation but wants to appeal the accommodation and/or appeal/grieve the underlying matter: the Client may accept the proposed accommodation if he/she loses the appeal/grievance.

10.2  Requests first made at hearings or appeals

At times, a Client may request an RA for the first time during a hearing or appeal. If the request relates to how the hearing is being conducted, the Hearing Officer or Panel will address the request. If the request relates to the underlying reason for the hearing, the Director of DGA or his/her designee will decide whether the decision should be sent back (“remanded”) to the original department for further interactive process and review.

10.3 Implementation of an Accommodation when a denial is overturned

If DGA decides an RA request should have been granted, the department or public housing development that originally denied it shall implement the RA no later than thirty (30) days from the receipt of the DGA’s written decision. If implementation may require more time, the relevant department must explain in writing to the Client why this is the case and when implementation can be expected in accordance with the general policy.

10.4 Options when there is no further review available within BHA

Clients who have exhausted their appeal rights within BHA regarding an RA decision have the right to file a fair housing complaint with HUD, the Massachusetts Commission Against Discrimination, the City of Boston’s Office of Fair Housing & Equity, or in court.


18For more information on DGA review, please see the ACOP (Public Housing Applicants), the Leased Housing Admin. Plan (Leased Housing Applicants and Participants), and the Tenant Grievance Procedures (Public Housing Residents).

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