A Fight Against Housing Discrimination

The To The Rescue HOPE Foundation is determined to assist individuals with intellectual and developmental disabilities (l/DD) in fighting housing discrimination.

More than four million instances of housing discrimination occur each year. Many homeowners, renters and Home Owner Associations (HOAs) do not want individuals with intellectual and developmental disabilities (l/DD) living in their communities.

Examples of discriminatory practices include:

  • restrictive covenants
  • occupancy by one family private residences only (non-related occupants, private residential use)
  • no commercial or business purpose of any kind (personal care alternatives (PCAs), group homes)
  • zoning ordinances
  • building modifications (housing accommodations, reasonable accommodation)
  • using the legal process against others primarily to accomplish a purpose for which it is not designed…and causes harm to another (home structure vs. true intent to improperly exclude individuals with l/DD from the neighborhood)
  • discriminatory social media posts
  • harassment of individuals with l/DD from neighbors

The National Council on Disability (NCD, 2015) in a Home and Community-Based Services and Supports (HCBS) report: Creating Systems for Success at Home, at Work and in the Community calls for more small-scale, community residential supports for people with disabilities. The report concludes that individuals receiving HCBS in smaller, more dispersed and individualized community settings demonstrated signs of greater community integration and positive life outcomes. The majority of studies conducted in the US found that outcomes such as greater individual choice, satisfaction, housing stability, higher levels of adaptive behavior and community participation are positively related to smaller and more integrated residential settings.

A solution to the very real challenges faced by individuals with l/DD includes a shared vision to reach the goals articulated in the ADA years ago: equality of opportunity, full participation, independent living and economic self-sufficiency. These are the goals we must work toward as we move into the next quarter century of the ADA.

Fair housing laws prohibit discrimination in housing against individuals with disabilities, including individuals with mental health, intellectual or developmental disabilities. Individuals with mental health, intellectual or developmental disabilities have faced many types of discrimination, including being required to live in institutions and other segregated settings. There is a great need for affordable, integrated, community-based housing options where individuals with disabilities can live free from discrimination.

Individuals with disabilities have the right to live independently in the community with all the supports that they need, including health care services, a caregiver or live-in aide or other short or long-term services or supports. Access to community-based housing options are also necessary to ensure that individuals with disabilities are not forced to remain in institutional settings.

For more information about Fair Housing please visit: https://www.hud.gov/fairhousing.

The HOPE Foundation is unaware of any real concerted effort to assist individuals with l/DD in fighting housing discrimination. We are requesting funding to support individuals with l/DD so they can live in communities of their choice without fear of discrimination or legal repercussions. The HOPE Foundation is determined to assist individuals with l/DD in fighting housing discrimination and establishing significant case law around this subject. Costs associated with advancing this purpose include: punitive damages, attorney fees, court costs and temporary and / or permanent injunctive relief. To continue with this effort, additional funding is needed.

To donate to this cause please visit: GoFundMe (https://gofund.me/784f2499).

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