lunes, 2 de mayo de 2016

Disability Connection Newsletter — April 2016 -

Disability Connection Newsletter — April 2016 -


Disability Connection Newsletter. This section has four photographs from left to right. A woman, who has spina bifida and a learning disability, stands next to her scooter. A young man, who has Costello Syndrome, bags groceries in a supermarket. A Veteran who is blind sits in a chair at his office. A woman, who has a Spinal Cord Injury, advocates for people with multiple disabilities.

10 Things to Know about Housing

  1. Equal Access to Housing. The Fair Housing Act protects you from discrimination when you're renting, buying or getting financial help for any type of housing. When it’s time to rent or buy a home, you should know your rights and signs of possible discrimination. The U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development's (HUD) Fair Housing Accessibility FIRSTinitiative outlines seven basic standards that must be met to comply with the Fair Housing Act’s design and construction requirements. These include both interior and exterior spaces, as well as common areas. Learn about reasonable accommodations for people with disabilities under the Fair Housing Act, including the use of service animals andemotional support animals. The Easter Seals brochure, Easy Access Housing for Easier Living, includes a Home Adaptability Checklist, as well as a section that highlights common accessibility problems and offers simple solutions to remedy them. Looking for accessible housing? Accessible Space’s website can help you find affordable accessible housing options for people with disabilities and seniors in certain states. If you believe you have experienced housing discrimination, you can file a complaint online with HUD or call the HUD Office nearest you. Read FAIR HOUSING: Equal Opportunity for All for information on the Fair Housing Act, the housing rights of people with disabilities and families with children and what happens when you file a fair housing complaint.
  2. Rental Assistance. Public housing and other rental assistance programs, formerly called “Section 8” housing choice vouchers, help seniors, people with disabilities and low-income families afford rental housing. Since income limitsfor rental assistance vary from state-to-state, and even from county-to-county, you should contact your local public housing agency to find out what options are available and if you’re eligible for assistance. In general, there's no limit to the amount of time you can stay in public housing, as long as you follow the terms of your lease and your income continues to meet the eligibility requirements. Learn about HUD's Section 811 Supportive Housing for Persons with Disabilities program. Visit for information on government-funded rental assistance programs or use the Low-rent Apartment Searchtool to find affordable housing in your community. If you live in a rural area, you may qualify for help from the U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA). Contact the Rural Development agency in your state to get started. In addition, some Community Action Agencies and organizations such asLutheran Services in America provide housing and rental assistance.
  3. Tips for First-time Homebuyers. Buying your first home is an exciting step. At the same time, you may feel overwhelmed about making such a large purchase. HUD’s Buying a Homesection and the National Association of Realtors’ article, 10 Ways to Prepare for Homeownership, can help you get started. Tips include figuring out how much you can afford, requesting your credit report and getting preapproved for a loan. If you’re a first-time homebuyer, it’s a good idea to use a realtor who can help you navigate the home-buying process and stay within your price range. Check out 12 Questions to Ask a Potential Realtor to learn more. You may also want to read HUD’s Looking for the Best Mortgage booklet or use one of Freddie Mac’s Calculators to see how different terms and down payments will affect the amount of your mortgage payment. In addition, HUD-approved housing counselors can give advice about which options might work best for you, as well as help you look at homes for sale by the federal government.
  4. Making a Move. When moving to a new home, it’s important to plan carefully and stay organized. This moving checklistfrom the U.S. Department of Transportation’s Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration (FMCSA) provides helpful tips and information for planning a move that will go smoothly. Be sure to know your rights and responsibilities when hiring a moving company. When it‘s time to hire movers, you can search for a company using the FMCSA’s Mover Registration Search tool. Follow these guidelines to protect yourself against moving fraud, including getting estimates from several different moving companies and checking the company’s record through the Better Business Bureau. Protect your possessions by choosing either Full Value Protection insurance or Released Value insurance in case something happens while a moving company is transporting them. Should something happen to any possessions during a move, you can file a complaint with the FMCSA’s National Consumer Complaint Database. As soon as the move happens, fill out the Official United States Postal Service Change of Address form and update your address through the local Department of Motor Vehicles.
  5. Does Your Home Fit Your Needs? Making certain changes to living environments can help people with disabilities live independently and older adults “age in place” in their own homes, instead of moving to nursing homes or assisted living facilities. These changes can include building ramps, widening doors and installing hand rails. United Spinal Association’sGuide to Home Modifications has information about accessible home design and different types of home modifications. There are also programs to help people with disabilities and seniorspay for home modifications or repairs. Check with your localCenter for Independent Living or Area Agency on Aging to learn more. The Department of Veterans Affairs (VA) Specially Adapted Housing and Special Housing Adaptation grants help Veterans with service-related disabilities build or modify a home to meet their needs. The VA also offers home loans to help Veterans pay for repairs. Take AARP’s HomeFit Quiz to learn how to make your home better fit your needs. Use theEldercare Locator to find programs in your area (choose “Home Repair & Modification” from the Search by Topic menu).

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