balconies of high rise apartment

Locating Accessible Housing

Locating an accessible house or apartment can be time-consuming, so it usually comes down to making a few modifications in an elevated apartment building or ranch-style house or trailer. Under the Fair Housing Act, a landlord cannot refuse to allow a renter to make reasonable accommodations to a rental unit for wheelchair accessibility, as long as the renter agrees to restore the unit to its original state, when he or she moves out.  This article is a good step-by-step overview of finding and renting housing for people with disabilities.

For assistance locating accessible housing, contact your local Independent Living Center; they will have referrals. A directory of all the CILs is listed on the Independent Living Research Utilization Project (ILRU) website. 

Here is the Activist's Blueprint for Action with suggestions for you if you are fighting for fair and affordable housing in your community. 

Check with other non-profit organizations for housing listings. Looking through mainstream classifieds and most realty companies is often fruitless, but look in your telephone directory yellow pages for realty companies that cater to locating properties with wheelchair access. There are a few rare birds!

Of course, no move is complete without planning.  Moving Advice for Seniors and People with Disabilities offers suggestions for a successful move. It discusses budget, cost-saving tips, safety, prevention of injuries, and ways to minimize stress.  

Barrier Free Home
Search by state to find listings of accessible homes for sale.

Over the Raindbow Association
Provides affordable barrier-free housing solutions for people with physical disabilities in Chicago and the metro area.  

Renters' Rights for People with Disabilities
This site reviews the Fair Housing Act and Ammendments and summarizes it for renters with disabilities. It describes various living arrangements for adult children with special needs. It includes stories of adults living independently and discusses barriers and discrimination to apartment living. There are legal and safety considerations covered along with a checklist for parents to consider.
Search by city.  Click search, then the checkbox for Disability Access.
Enter the city. Then click More, then More Options when the new window opens.  Under Select Apartment Features, choose Disability Access.
Search by city.  Click More Filters at the top, then the checkbox for Disability Access. 

Search by city. Under the filters, select More. Then check Wheelchair Access.

Seach for rentals with accessible housing by setting up a profile and then selecting "Accessible" from the amenities drop down.