Requirements for persons with a disability

Landlords must*:

  • Consider all requests for reasonable modifications to the dwelling or common use areas, at the tenant’s expense, if necessary for the person with a disability to use the housing. (In cases where public financing is involved, landlords or property owners may be required to pay for reasonable modifications.)
  • Consider all requests for reasonable accommodations in rules, policies, practices or services if necessary for the person with a disability to use the housing.

For more on reasonable accommodation and/or modification, refer to the FAQ and Glossary section.

*Exceptions for private housing providers may include modifications that pose an “undue financial or administrative burden,” or for requests from tenants that may pose a “direct threat to others.” Landlords or housing providers may request third-party verification that the tenant meets the legal definition for disability, and that the requested modification is both reasonable and effective in addressing the disability in question. Landlords may not ask about the specific nature of the disability.

Note. Consideration does not always result in approval. Whether a request is ultimately approved or denied is a decision that should be informed by careful deliberation and a thorough understanding of the laws and request involved. For consumers and providers alike, when in doubt, consult an expert for clarification. In some cases, an alternative accommodation may be exist that meets and respects the needs of both parties.The Accessibility Improvements Program, or AIP (administered by IHFA in cooperation with local Independent Living Centers) provides resources for qualifying households to make modifications that increase accessibility. For more information on the AIP program, see Accessibility Improvements for the Disabled

For those living in Lewiston, Coeur d’Alene, Idaho Falls, Pocatello, Boise, Meridian or Nampa, call the Community Development Block Grant (CDBG) Coordinator to ask if funds are available for adaptive modifications.

Other potential resources may include your local Community Action Partner or local Habitat for Humanity chapter (ask about the “Brush With Kindness” program).

Requirements for New Buildings

In buildings that are ready for first occupancy after March 13, 1991, and have an elevator and four or more units:

  • Public and common areas must be accessible to persons with disabilities
  • Doors and hallways must be wide enough for wheelchairs
  • All units must have an accessible route into and through the unit
  • All units must have accessible light switches, electrical outlets, thermostats and other environmental controls
  • Reinforced bathroom walls to allow later installation of grab bars and
  • Kitchens and bathrooms that can be used by people in wheelchairs.