Who pays?

In Federally Assisted Housing, owner is responsible to pay for reasonable modifications, what about non assisted rental housing?

Section 504 covers Federally Assisted Housing

Generally, any property where the owner receives a DIRECT Federal payment is covered by Section 504. Notable exclusions are
  • Housing Choice Vouchers
  • Low Income Housing Tax Credits
In each of these cases there are some other ways to work around the "who pays" problem.

Housing Choice Voucher program permits Housing Authorities to:
  • Increase subsidy payments to owners who make modifications
  • Increase the number of bedrooms for tenants who need to store medical equipment or provide space for live-in attendants
Low Income Housing Tax Credits
  • Many LIHTC properties aslo revieve other forms of Federal assistance. Examples include HUD or USDA subsidized mortgages or HOME payments. Some digging around can reveal "hidden" subsidies.

How can a low income tenant afford to pay for a modification if she/he is not covered by Section 504?
  • Passport and other medicare and medicaid waiver programs
  • Bureau of vocational rehabilitation
  • USDA (rural areas)
  • Charities, churches, student and fraternal organizations. Here's some examples:
  • Students at Ohio State University have designed and constructed ramps
  • A motorcycle clubs sometimes raise funds for ramps
  • Habitat for Humanity can provide ramps to mobility impaired households.
  • Churches can help with materials and/or labor for simple home modifications
Caution: if you are using volunteers to make modifications, be sure that they are addressing building, housing, health and safety codes in their projects and that the modifications comply with Uniform Federal Accessibility Standards. Good works go hand in hand with good law.

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