August 2013 Coach's Quiz
We’ve suggested seven rules for complying with fair housing accessibility requirements. Now let’s look at how the rules might apply in the real world. Take the COACH’s Quiz to see what you’ve learned.
INSTRUCTIONS: Each of the following questions has only one correct answer. On a separate piece of paper, write down the number of each question, followed by the answer you think is correct—for example, (1) b, (2) a, and so on. The correct answers (with explanations) follow the quiz. Good luck!
Your community was built in the 1980s. The leasing office is on the first floor, but there’s a step at the building entrance. Although it’s not covered under the FHA’s design and construction standards, your community could still face a disability discrimination complaint. True or false?
Your community was built for first occupancy in 1997. The building has three floors, each with four units, without an elevator. All the ground-floor units have a primary entrance located off a main corridor that’s accessible by individuals using wheelchairs, but there are steps at the building’s back entrance that lead to a walkway connecting to the community’s clubhouse. Although residents can go out the front entrance and around the building to get to the pool, the community could face a fair housing complaint for accessibility problems under the FHA’s design and construction standards. True or false?
Your community was built for first occupancy in 2003. The building is equipped with an elevator and has six stories, each with 10 units. A resident in a third-floor unit recently started using a wheelchair due to a mobility impairment, but the door and hallways in her unit are too narrow for her to get around in her wheelchair. She asks you to widen the hallway and doors. What should you do?
a. Deny her request; since the unit isn’t on the ground floor, it doesn’t need to meet the FHA’s accessibility requirements.
b. Allow her to make the changes, as long as she agrees to pay for it.
c. Make the requested changes at your own expense.
COACH’S ANSWERS & EXPLANATIONS
Correct answer: a
Reason: Rules #1 and #2 apply here.
Rule #1: Learn About Applicable Accessibility Laws
Rule #2: Make Your Leasing Office Accessible
Although the FHA’s design and construction provisions apply only to multifamily communities built for first occupancy since March 1991, your community could still face a disability discrimination complaint. Because it’s open to the public, the leasing office is considered a “place of public accommodation,” so it may be subject to the accessibility requirements of the ADA.
Correct answer: a
Reason: Rules #3 and #4 apply here:
Rule #3: Provide an Accessible Building Entrance on an Accessible Route
Rule #4: Ensure Accessibility to Public and Common-Use Areas
The building was constructed for first occupancy after 1991, so it’s subject to the FHA’s design and construction standards, which require at least one accessible entrance to the buildings and to each covered unit. Although the primary entrance to the building and the units meets this requirement, there could be a problem with the step at the building’s back entrance. According to the HUD-DOJ accessibility guidance, additional entrances to a building also must be accessible if they’re public or common-use areas. As an example, the guidelines state that if a secondary entrance at the back of the building containing covered units leads to a clubhouse or parking, then both that entrance and the primary entrance must be accessible.
Correct answer: c
Reason: Rules #5, #6, and #7 apply here:
Rule #5: Provide Accessible Entrances and Routes Into and Through Covered Units
Rule #6: Make Sure Covered Units Satisfy FHA Accessibility Requirements
Rule #7: Consider Reasonable Modification Requests
The community was built for first occupancy after March 1991, so it should have been designed to comply with the FHA’s accessibility standards. Among other things, the rules require covered units to have doors wide enough to accommodate people in wheelchairs and to have an accessible route into and through each unit. Since the doorways are too narrow to accommodate a person in a wheelchair, it’s in violation of the law, and you should modify it immediately, at your own expense.
Wrong answers explained:
a. All units in the community should have been designed and built in accordance with the FHA’s design and construction requirements because it was constructed for first occupancy after March 1991 and has an elevator.
b. Although the law generally requires residents to pay for reasonable modifications, that doesn’t apply to any structural changes needed by the resident that should have been included in the unit under the FHA’s design and construction requirements when community was originally built.
See The Lesson For This Quiz
|Complying with Fair Housing Accessibility Requirements|