HUD No. 07-184
December 18, 2007
HUD ANNOUNCES AGREEMENT WITH SEATTLE HOUSING AUTHORITY TO MAKE 263 UNITS ACCESSIBLE FOR RESIDENTS WITH DISABILITIES
WASHINGTON - The U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development today announced that the Seattle Housing Authority (SHA) has signed a Voluntarily Compliance Agreement that will make 263 public housing units fully accessible for residents and applicants with disabilities.
"This nation's severe shortage of accessible housing is one of the most significant challenges facing persons with disabilities today. That is why we are extremely pleased with the agreement," said Kim Kendrick, HUD's Assistant Secretary for Fair Housing and Equal Opportunity. "Not only is it a victory for disabled residents of the Seattle Housing Authority and residents of Seattle, it also reflects HUD's ongoing commitment to create more of this much needed type of housing. I appreciate the Seattle Housing Authority's spirit of collaboration and commitment to achieving full civil rights compliance. Their voluntary cooperation should serve a model to other housing authorities."
Under the agreement, the Seattle Housing Authority will:
- Create a minimum of five percent (263 units) of its housing stock into fully-accessible units that will include lower kitchen counters, ramps, grab bars, and other features of accessible design;
- Make improvements in the management of their housing wait list to maximize the availability of accessible units for disabled individuals and their families;
- Pay reasonable moving expenses for residents with disabilities who require a transfer to an accessible SHA unit or development due to barriers in their current housing;
- Ensure that applicants and residents with disabilities who rely on assistance animals have equal, unrestricted access to SHA's programs; and
- Train current and new employees about the responsibilities and procedures created under this agreement.
The agreement, announced today, stems from a review HUD launched in June 2006 of SHA's Low Income Public Housing Program. HUD's review included an examination of agency files, interviews with staff and residents, and accessibility surveys of units and common areas.
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