Fair Housing Project | What if I have a disability?

Housing Rights for Persons with Disabilities

If you have a disability and are not able to have fully enjoy your housing you are protected by the Law:

For Accommodations (a change in rules or policy, such as parking, pets, etc.):
“Under The Federal Fair Housing Act Amendments Sec. 804 (42 U.S.C. 3604)(f)(3)(B), it is unlawful discrimination for a management company to deny a person with a disability “a reasonable accommodation of building rules or policies if such accommodation may be necessary to afford such person full enjoyment of the premises..”

For Modifications (a physical change that costs money, such as a ramp, grab bar, etc.):
“Under the FHAA, Sec. 804 (42 U.S.C. 3604)(f)(3)(B), it is unlawful discrimination for a management company to deny a person with a disability “a reasonable modification of existing premises occupied or to be occupied by such person if such modification may be necessary to afford such person full enjoyment of the premises…”

It is against the law for a landlord to refuse to allow a person with a disability to make reasonable modifications (RM) to an apartment (at the expense of the tenant), or to make reasonable accommodations (RA) in rules, practices, or services, when needed for the full enjoyment of the premises by a tenant with a disability.

If you would like to make a request for a reasonable accommodation or reasonable modification please see our guide and sample letters for writing a reasonable modification and accommodation:

Several programs exist to assist tenants and landlords in making apartments accessible to people with disabilities and these include:

  • The ENABLE Loan Program of the Vermont State Housing Authority, which can be reached at (802) 828-3295 or 1-800-798-3118.
  • The Home Access Program of the Vermont Center for Independent Living (VCIL), which can be reached at (802) 229-0501 or 1-800-639-1522. VCIL also provides information on other sources of funding available for making apartments and homes accessible, and offers a variety of services, referrals, and information to assist people with disabilities.


If you have a disability and are otherwise qualified to participate in a program that receives Federal financial assistance (such as public housing, some privately-owned housing, or Section 8), you are further protected from discrimination in housing.

Section 504 of the Rehabilitation Act of 1973 guarantees that agencies responsible for these programs must provide access and make reasonable accommodations so that you are able to enjoy the full benefits and privileges of the program.

For more information: contact:

The Disability Law Project at Vermont Legal Aid 1-800-889-2047 "The project provides counsel and advice, brief service, and full representation to eligible clients and their family members."


The Vermont Center for Independent Living's Housing Information and Advocacy Program (1-800-639-1522).




Concrete Change -- A non-profit organization, "...advocat[ing] for implementing structural and legislative shifts that promote basic home access..." and making homes visitable.

VERMONT ACCESS RULES and Adaptable & Visitable Standards for Dwellings (pdf) Adopted 2012

Vermont Access Rules
ADA and Accessibility rules enforced in Vermont by the Department of Public Safety, Fire Safety Division

(HUD No. 13-055, Shantae Goodloe) RELEASED April 30, 2013
"Guidance designed to inform the accessible construction of multifamily housing"


Brochure for Hearing People - Communicating with People Who Are Deaf or Hard of Hearing

Video - Fair Housing Rights Introduction with American Sign Language Interpreter: On Media and Democracy, Channel 17 Video Archive

Bazelon Center for Mental Health Law Bazelon has extensive resources and informational documents regarding aspects of mental health law, including extensive information about reasonable accommodations and service animals.

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