NYC is extremely convenient when it comes to accessing facilities, but what conveniences are available to those who have a disability, especially when it comes to housing?
Let’s take a look at tips for finding buildings that have been outfitted to accommodate all New Yorkers.
Amendments in the Fair Housing Act included special provisions for disabled persons. The following are required in order for an apartment building to be in compliance with the Act:
Accessible apartments must make sure their tenants can move and tend to their daily lives. These apartments typically include accessible features with some structural modification like wider door frames or walk-in showers.
Start your search on real estate websites. Websites offer additional filters that allow users to narrow down their searches, making it easier to find exactly what they are looking for.
Try searching for ‘accessible apartments’ in the search bar or choose an option from the down list to easily locate apartment buildings with accessible features. You can also select options such as Special Features, Disability Access, Community Amenities, Property Features, and Handicap Access.
No matter where in the city you plan to move to, it’s generally helpful to start your search online. There are several websites that specialize in helping apartment seekers with disabilities.
Some non-profit organizations endeavor to help people with disabilities, especially in the apartment-hunting process. Some of the major nonprofit organizations that provide aid are Accessible space, Habitat for Humanity, and Mercy Housing. Contact any of them for assistance finding an accessible apartment anywhere across the country.
The U.S Department of Housing and Urban Development (HUD) leads the charge when it comes to housing needs for all populations, including those who are disabled. There are various housing programs like Section 8 or Section 811 that give first preference to disabled people.
There are accessible apartments in all apartment buildings, so that means they come in a variety of floorplans and with different amenities. Know your budget constraints and have a good idea of what you’re looking for in an apartment before beginning your search.
It is very important if you are moving into a new city to become familiar with the area in which you are moving. This includes the accessibility to the apartment building but also access to local transportation. Additionally, get some information about the wheelchair accessibility of sidewalks, parks, and public areas.
Regardless of the city, there are certain documents that are required of everyone before getting an apartment. Preparing them beforehand will help streamline the whole process.
Landlords want to make sure their tenants can pay rent and do so on time. Although landlords are not supposed to discriminate based on actual or perceived disability. Some still do as they make assumptions about income or earning potential. Keep verified proof of your income such as a pay stub or proof of any aid you are getting from the government.
Once you get some promising recommendations or find one online, schedule a tour. You may even opt for a virtual tour if you are not comfortable visiting in person. Doing so provides a real-time idea of amenities and apartment layout.
Before reaching any conclusion and signing the lease, it is always better to ask the landlord about every basic detail. Especially if you are confused or have any lingering concerns about anything.
Accessible apartments should already have the required modifications, but different people may need different accommodations. Discuss the possibility of any additional modifications that would help you function safely and efficiently in the unit with the landlord before signing a lease since it will be harder to negotiate once you’ve moved in.
Hunting for an apartment is quite a stressful job and, once you’ve signed the lease, you have done the hard part.
Read Also: FAQs When Apartment Hunting