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Guide for Completing Form 8823 - page 130 / 197





130 / 197

Citizenship Status

Role of the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development (HUD)

  • 2.

    all the doors designed to allow passage into and within all premises within such dwellings are sufficiently wide to allow passage by disabled persons in wheelchairs;

  • 3.

    all premises within such dwelling contain the following features of adaptive design:

  • (a)

    an accessible route into and through the dwelling;

  • (b)

    light switches, electrical outlet, thermostats, and other environmental controls

in accessible locations;

  • (c)

    reinforcements in bathroom walls to allow later installation of grab bars;

  • (d)

    usable kitchens and bathrooms such that an individual in a wheelchair can

maneuver about the space.

The FHA does not prohibit discrimination based solely on a person’s citizenship status. Therefore, asking housing applicants to provide documentation of their citizenship or immigration status during the screening process would not violate the FHA. Owners implementing citizenship or immigration status screening measures must make sure they are carried out in a uniform, nondiscriminatory fashion.

Example 1: Visa Expiration

A person applying for an LIHC apartment mentions in the interview that he left his native country to study in the United States. The landlord, concerned that the student’s visa may expire during tenancy, asks the student for documentation to determine how long he is legally allowed to be in the United States.

If the landlord requests this information, regardless of the applicant’s race or specific national origin, the landlord has not violated the Fair Housing Act.

Questions concerning the Fair Housing Act should be referred to the state’s HUD regional office. HUD’s regional offices are listed in Exhibit 13-1.

HUD is responsible for enforcing the Fair Housing Act. In so doing, HUD investigates allegations of housing discrimination, attempts to resolve the complaint, and determines whether there is reasonable cause to pursue civil action. If reasonable cause is present, HUD must bring the case before an administrative law judge. In the alternative, if either party elects to have claims or complaints decided in a civil action, HUD must refer the complaint to the U.S. Department of Justice for prosecution in the United States District Court.


Revised October 2009

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