Housing Rights


“Irene” participates in the “El Progreso” self-advocacy group at a mental health clinic. She applied for Section 8 housing a few years ago and recently moved into a third floor apartment. She was happy to have her own home, but she was in poor health due to a heart condition. It was nearly impossible to walk up three flights of stairs. After she told group members about this, the group learned about housing rights and reasonable accommodations. We reviewed and discussed several DRC publications, including “Supportive Housing under the Mental Health Services Act,” “Providing Reasonable Modifications to Tenants with Mental Health Disabilities,” and “Tenants with Mental Health Disabilities: The Right to Reasonable Modifications in Housing.” After learning her rights, Irene wrote a letter to management specifying all the accommodations she needed. Within a month, she moved from the third floor to the first floor. The group celebrated her success and saw change can and does happen when you know your rights.