Reasonable Accommodation Policy

Chapter 5: Reasonable Accommodation Requests Related to Findings of Program Ineligibility, Lease Violations, or Program Violations

5.1  Applicants: Requests related to a finding of program ineligibility

If an Applicant is found ineligible for BHA housing and this was ultimately due to a disability, he/she may submit an RA request to the Occupancy or Leased Housing Department.11 For example, an Applicant who is found ineligible for failing to meet an eligibility requirement may request an accommodation that would help him/her meet the requirement, or an Applicant who missed a screening appointment or failed to provide necessary information may request another opportunity to be screened or supply the information, respectively.

BHA will not take final action on an eligibility determination until a final decision has been made on the RA request, unless the Applicant is determined to be ineligible based on other grounds as well that are not related to a disability and cannot be addressed by an RA.

5.2  Residents and Participants: Requests related to lease and/or program violations

When a Resident or Participant alleges that a lease and/or program violation was the result of a disability, BHA will determine whether it is reasonable to believe that the violation is unlikely to recur if it provides the requested Accommodation. For example, a Resident whose treatable, yet untreated, disability caused lease violations may ask BHA to forgo evicting him/her in exchange for keeping to a treatment plan that will eliminate the risk of such violations. If BHA concludes, based on objective information, that a proposed Accommodation is unlikely to resolve the lease or program violation, it will deny the Accommodation.

5.2.1  How requests related to lease/program violations are handled

When a Resident requests an RA related to a lease violation before being served with a summons and complaint for an eviction action, BHA will first review the request to determine if the Accommodation will enable the Resident to comply with the terms of the lease.

If a Resident requests the Accommodation after the service of a summons and complaint, BHA will expeditiously address the request in conjunction with the housing court action. Depending on the individual situation, this could include attempting to resolve the RA through a court agreement, seeking the use of housing court resources to assist a Resident with becoming lease compliant, or other approaches.

If a Leased Housing Participant requests an RA after receiving a Notice of Proposed Termination, BHA will decide on the request before holding a termination hearing. For information on Participant RA requests first made during termination hearings, please see Chapter 10.

5.3  What if a Client requests an Accommodation that is unreasonable or refuses an Accommodation related to a finding of program ineligibility, lease violation, or proposed termination?

If a Client requests an Accommodation in the context of a finding of program ineligibility, lease violation, or proposed termination, and it is determined to be ineffective or unreasonable, BHA will propose alternative Accommodations, if they exist, to resolve the matter.

For example, if a Resident with a hearing disability has continuously disrupted the peace and quiet enjoyment of his/her neighbors with a loud TV and asks at his/her private conference to simply not be evicted as an Accommodation, this would not resolve the noise problem. Such a request would be denied. The BHA might instead propose forgoing a court action if the Resident agrees to use headphones in the future when watching TV. 

While a Client may always refuse such a proposed RA related to a finding of program ineligibility, lease violation, or proposed termination, BHA may thereafter move forward with enforcing the program requirements. This may include removing a client from housing waitlists, eviction, or program termination.

5.4  When a Client provides information regarding a disability but the relationship to the underlying BHA action is not clear

If a Client mentions having a disability in the context of a finding of ineligibility, eviction, or program termination, but no clear relationship exists between that disability and the situation under review, BHA will ask the Client to explain why he/she brought up the disability and ask whether it is the Client’s intent to request an RA before deciding the underlying matter. In determining the Client’s intent, BHA staff will explain the concept of an RA in plain language.

For example, if a Participant discloses having a disability while meeting with his/her leasing officer about a proposed termination and there does not appear to be a direct relationship between the disability and the reason for the proposed termination, BHA will ask why the disability is being raised and whether or not an RA is being requested (and what that would mean). BHA will not summarily conclude that there is no connection between the disability and the proposed RA; it will instead ask the Client for more information.


11Depending on which department is doing the screening.

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