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e-CFR data is current as of December 10, 2019

Title 24Subtitle A → Part 9


Title 24: Housing and Urban Development


PART 9—ENFORCEMENT OF NONDISCRIMINATION ON THE BASIS OF DISABILITY IN PROGRAMS OR ACTIVITIES CONDUCTED BY THE DEPARTMENT OF HOUSING AND URBAN DEVELOPMENT


Contents
§9.101   Purpose.
§9.102   Applicability.
§9.103   Definitions.
§9.110   Self-evaluation.
§9.111   Notice.
§§9.112-9.129   [Reserved]
§9.130   General prohibitions against discrimination.
§9.131   Direct threat.
§§9.132-9.139   [Reserved]
§9.140   Employment.
§§9.141-9.148   [Reserved]
§9.149   Program accessibility: discrimination prohibited.
§9.150   Program accessibility: existing facilities.
§9.151   Program accessibility: new construction and alterations.
§9.152   Program accessibility: alterations of Property Disposition Program multifamily housing facilities.
§9.153   Distribution of accessible dwelling units.
§9.154   Occupancy of accessible dwelling units.
§9.155   Housing adjustments.
§9.160   Communications.
§9.170   Compliance procedures.

Authority: 29 U.S.C. 794; 42 U.S.C. 3535(d).

Source: 59 FR 31047, June 16, 1994, unless otherwise noted.

§9.101   Purpose.

The purpose of this part is to effectuate section 119 of the Rehabilitation, Comprehensive Services, and Developmental Disabilities Amendments of 1978, which amended section 504 of the Rehabilitation Act of 1973 to prohibit discrimination on the basis of disability in programs or activities conducted by Executive agencies or the United States Postal Service.

§9.102   Applicability.

This part applies to all programs or activities conducted by the agency, except for programs or activities conducted outside the United States that do not involve individuals with disabilities in the United States.

§9.103   Definitions.

For purposes of this part:

Accessible: (1) When used with respect to the design, construction, or alteration of a facility or a portion of a facility other than an individual dwelling unit, means that the facility or portion of the facility when designed, constructed or altered, complies with applicable accessibility standards and can be approached, entered, and used by individuals with physical disabilities. The phrase “accessible to and usable by” is synonymous with accessible.

(2) When used with respect to the design, construction, or alteration of an individual dwelling unit, means that the unit is located on an accessible route and, when designed, constructed, altered or adapted, complies with applicable accessibility standards, and can be approached, entered, and used by individuals with physical disabilities. A unit that is on an accessible route and is adaptable and otherwise in compliance with the standards set forth in §9.151 is “accessible” within the meaning of this definition. When a unit in an existing facility which is being made accessible as a result of alterations is intended for use by a specific qualified individual with disabilities (e.g., a current occupant of such unit or of another unit under the control of the same agency, or an applicant on a waiting list), the unit will be deemed accessible if it meets the requirements of applicable standards that address the particular disability or impairment of such person.

Accessible route means a continuous unobstructed path connecting accessible elements and spaces of a building or facility. Interior accessible routes may include corridors, floors, ramps, elevators, lifts, and clear floor space at fixtures. Exterior accessible routes may include parking access aisles, curb ramps, crosswalks at vehicular ways, walks, ramps and lifts.

ADA means the Americans with Disabilities Act of 1990 (42 U.S.C. 12101 through 12213)

ADA Accessibility Guidelines (ADAAG) means the Accessibility Guidelines issued under the ADA, and which are codified in the Appendix to 39 CFR part 1191.

Adaptability means the ability of certain building, spaces and elements, such as kitchen counters, sinks, and grab bars, to be added or altered, to accommodate the needs of persons with or without disabilities, or to accommodate the needs of persons with different types or degrees of disability. For example, in a unit adaptable for a person with impaired hearing, the wiring for visible emergency alarms may be installed but the alarms need not be installed until such time as the unit is made ready for occupancy by a person with impaired hearing.

Agency means the Department of Housing and Urban Development.

Alteration means a change to a building or facility or its permanent fixtures or equipment that affects or could affect the usability of the building or facility or part thereof. Alterations include, but are not limited to, remodeling, renovation, rehabilitation, reconstruction, historic restoration, changes or rearrangements of the structural parts and changes or rearrangements in the plan configuration of walls and full-height partitions. Normal maintenance, re-roofing, painting, or wallpapering or changes to mechanical and electrical systems are not alterations unless they affect the usability of the building or facility.

Assistant Attorney General means the Assistant Attorney General, Civil Rights Division, United States Department of Justice.

Assistant Secretary means the Assistant Secretary of Housing and Urban Development for Fair Housing and Equal Opportunity.

Auxiliary aids means services or devices that enable persons with impaired sensory, manual, or communication skills to have an equal opportunity to participate in, and enjoy the benefits of, programs or activities conducted by the agency. For example, auxiliary aids useful for persons with impaired vision include readers, Brailled materials, audio recordings, and other similar services and devices. Auxiliary aids useful for persons with impaired hearing include telephone handset amplifiers, telephones compatible with hearing aids, telecommunication devices for deaf persons (TDD's), interpreters, note takers, written materials, and other similar services and devices.

Complete complaint means a written statement that contains the complainant's name and address and describes the agency's alleged discriminatory action in sufficient detail to inform the agency of the nature and date of the alleged violation of section 504. It shall be signed by the complainant or by someone authorized to do so on his or her behalf. Complaints filed on behalf of classes or third parties shall describe or identify (by name, if possible) the alleged victims of discrimination.

Current illegal use of drugs means illegal use of drugs that occurred recently enough to justify a reasonable belief that a person's drug use is current or that continuing use is a real and ongoing problem.

Drug means a controlled substance, as defined in schedules I through V of section 202 of the Controlled Substances Act (21 U.S.C. 812).

Facility means all or any portion of buildings, structures, site improvements, complexes, equipment, roads, walks, passageways, parking lots, rolling stock or other conveyances, or other real or personal property located on a site.

Historic properties means those properties that are listed or are eligible for listing in the National Register of Historic Places, or such properties designated as historic under a statute of the appropriate State or local government body.

Illegal use of drugs means the use of one or more drugs, the possession or distribution of which is unlawful under the Controlled Substances Act (21 U.S.C. 812). The term “illegal use of drugs” does not include the use of a drug taken under supervision by a licensed health care professional, or other uses authorized by the Controlled Substances Act or other provisions of Federal law.

Individual with disabilities means any person who has a physical or mental impairment that substantially limits one or more major life activities, has a record of such an impairment, or is regarded as having such an impairment. As used in this definition, the phrase:

(1) “Physical or mental impairment” includes:

(i) Any physiological disorder or condition, cosmetic disfigurement, or anatomical loss affecting one or more of the following body systems: Neurological; musculoskeletal; special sense organs; respiratory, including speech organs; cardiovascular; reproductive; digestive; genito-urinary; hemic and lymphatic; skin; and endocrine; or

(ii) Any mental or psychological disorder, such as mental retardation, organic brain syndrome, emotional or mental illness, and specific learning disabilities. The term “physical or mental impairment” includes, but is not limited to, such diseases and conditions as orthopedic, visual, speech, and hearing impairments, cerebral palsy, autism, epilepsy, muscular dystrophy, multiple sclerosis, cancer, heart disease, diabetes, Human Immunodeficiency Virus disease (symptomatic or asymptomatic), mental retardation, emotional illness, drug addiction and alcoholism.

(2) The term “individual with disabilities” does not include:

(i) An individual who is currently engaging in the illegal use of drugs, when the agency acts on the basis of such use. This exclusion, however, does not exclude an individual with disabilities who—

(A) Has successfully completed a supervised drug rehabilitation program, and is no longer engaging in the illegal use of drugs, or has otherwise been rehabilitated successfully, and is no longer engaging in such use;

(B) Is participating in a supervised rehabilitation program, and is no longer engaging in such use; or

(C) Is erroneously regarded as engaging in such use, but is not engaging in such use.

(ii) Except that it shall not violate this part for the agency to adopt or administer reasonable policies and procedures, including but not limited to drug testing, designed to ensure than an individual described in paragraphs (2)(i) (A) and (B) of this definition is no longer engaging in the illegal use of drugs.

(iii) Nothing in paragraph (2) of this definition shall be construed to encourage, prohibit, restrict or authorize the conduct of testing for illegal use of drugs.

(iv) The agency shall not deny health services provided under titles I, II and III of the Rehabilitation Act of 1973 (29 U.S.C. 701 through 777f) to an individual with disabilities on the basis of that individual's current illegal use of drugs, if the individual is otherwise entitled to such services.

(3) For purposes of employment, the term “individual with disabilities” does not include:

(i) An individual who has a currently contagious disease or infection and who, by reason of such disease or infection—

(A) Has been determined, in accordance with the provisions of §9.131, to pose a direct threat to the health or safety of other individuals, which threat cannot be eliminated or reduced by reasonable accommodation, or

(B) Is unable to perform the essential duties of the job, with or without reasonable accommodation; or

(ii) An individual who is an alcoholic and whose current use of alcohol prevents him or her from performing the duties of the job in question or whose employment would constitute a direct threat to the property or the safety of others by reason of his or her current alcohol abuse.

(4) “Major life activities” means functions such as caring for one's self, performing manual tasks, walking, seeing, hearing, speaking, breathing, learning, and working.

(5) “Has a record of such an impairment” means has a history of, or has been misclassified as having, a mental or physical impairment that substantially limits one or more major life activities.

(6) “Is regarded as having an impairment” means—

(i) Has a physical or mental impairment that does not substantially limit major life activities but is treated by the agency as constituting such a limitation;

(ii) Has a physical or mental impairment that substantially limits major life activities only as a result of the attitudes of others toward such impairment; or

(iii) Has none of the impairments defined in paragraph (1) of this definition but is treated by the agency as having such an impairment.

Multifamily housing project means a project containing five or more dwelling units.

Official or Responsible Official means the Assistant Secretary of HUD for Fair Housing and Equal Opportunity.

PDP housing facility means a housing facility administered under HUD's Property Disposition Program.

Project means the whole of one or more residential structures and appurtenant structures, equipment, roads, walks, and parking lots which are covered by a single mortgage or contract or otherwise treated as a whole by the agency for processing purposes, whether or not located on a common site.

Property Disposition Program (PDP) means the HUD program which administers the housing facilities that are either owned by the Secretary or where, even though the Secretary has not obtained title, the Secretary is mortgagee-in-possession. Such properties are deemed to be in the possession or control of the agency.

Qualified individual with disabilities means:

(1) With respect to any agency non-employment program or activity under which a person is required to perform services or to achieve a level of accomplishment, an individual with disabilities who meets the essential eligibility requirements and who can achieve the purpose of the program or activity without modifications in the program or activity that the agency can demonstrate would result in a fundamental alteration in its nature; or

(2) With respect to any other agency non-employment program or activity, an individual with disabilities who meets the essential eligibility requirements for participation in, or receipt of benefits from, that program or activity.

(3) “Essential eligibility requirements” include stated eligibility requirements such as income, as well as other explicit or implicit requirements inherent in the nature of the program or activity, such as requirements that an occupant of a PDP multifamily housing facility be capable of meeting selection criteria and be capable of complying with all obligations of occupancy with or without supportive services provided by persons other than the agency.

(4) “Qualified person with disabilities” as that term is defined for purposes of employment in 29 CFR 1613.702(f), which is made applicable to this part by §9.140.

Replacement cost of the completed facility means the current cost of construction and equipment for a newly constructed housing facility of the size and type being altered. Construction and equipment costs do not include the cost of land, demolition, site improvements, non-dwelling facilities and administrative costs for project development activities.

Secretary means the Secretary of Housing and Urban Development.

Section 504 means section 504 of the Rehabilitation Act of 1973, as amended (29 U.S.C. 794). As used in this part, section 504 applies only to programs or activities conducted by the agency and not to federally assisted programs.

Substantial impairment means a significant loss of the integrity of finished materials, design quality, or special character resulting from a permanent alteration.

UFAS means the Uniform Federal Accessibility Standards, which implement the accessibility standards required by the Architectural Barriers Act (42 U.S.C. 4151 through 4157), and which are established at 24 CFR part 40, appendix A for residential structures, and 41 CFR 101-19.600 through 101-19.607, and appendix A to these sections, for non-residential structures.

§9.110   Self-evaluation.

(a) The agency shall, within one year of the effective date of this part, evaluate its current policies and practices, and the effects of those policies and practices, including regulations, handbooks, notices and other written guidance, that do not or may not meet the requirements of this part. To the extent modification of any such policies is required, the agency shall take the necessary corrective actions.

(b) The agency shall provide an opportunity to interested persons, including individuals with disabilities or organizations representing individuals with disabilities, to participate in the self-evaluation process by submitting comments (both oral and written).

(c) The agency shall, for at least three years following the completion of the self-evaluation, maintain on file and make available for public inspection:

(1) A list of interested persons;

(2) A description of the areas examined and any problems identified; and

(3) A description of any modifications made or to be made.

§9.111   Notice.

The agency shall make available to employees, applicants, participants, beneficiaries, and other interested persons information regarding the provisions of this part and its applicability to the programs or activities conducted by the agency. The agency shall make such information available to such persons in such manner as the Secretary finds necessary to apprise them of the protections against discrimination assured them by section 504 and this part. All publications and recruitment materials distributed to participants, beneficiaries, applicants or employees shall include a statement that the agency does not discriminate on the basis of disability. The notice shall include the name of the person or office responsible for the implementation of section 504.

§§9.112-9.129   [Reserved]

§9.130   General prohibitions against discrimination.

(a) No qualified individual with disabilities shall, on the basis of disability, be excluded from participation in, be denied the benefits of, or otherwise be subjected to discrimination under any program or activity conducted by the agency.

(b)(1) The agency, in providing any housing, aid, benefit, or service, may not, directly or through contractual, licensing, or other arrangements, on the basis of disability—

(i) Deny a qualified individual with disabilities the opportunity to participate in or benefit from the housing, aid, benefit, or service;

(ii) Afford a qualified individual with disabilities an opportunity to participate in or benefit from the housing, aid, benefit, or service that is not equal to that afforded others;

(iii) Provide a qualified individual with disabilities with any housing, aid, benefit, or service that is not as effective in affording equal opportunity to obtain the same result, to gain the same benefit, or to reach the same level of achievement as that provided to others;

(iv) Provide different or separate housing, aid, benefits, or services to individuals with disabilities or to any class of individuals with disabilities than is provided to others unless such action is necessary to provide qualified individuals with disabilities with housing, aid, benefits, or services that are as effective as those provided to others;

(v) Deny a qualified individual with disabilities the opportunity to participate as a member of planning or advisory boards;

(vi) Deny a dwelling to an otherwise qualified buyer or renter because of a disability of that buyer or renter or a person residing in or intending to reside in that dwelling after it is sold, rented or made available; or

(vii) Otherwise limit a qualified individual with disabilities in the enjoyment of any right, privilege, advantage, or opportunity enjoyed by others receiving the housing, aid, benefit, or service.

(2) For purposes of this part, housing, aids, benefits, and services, to be equally effective, are not required to produce the identical result or level of achievement for individuals with disabilities and for persons without disabilities, but must afford individuals with disabilities equal opportunity to obtain the same result, to gain the same benefit, or to reach the same level of achievement.

(3) The agency may not deny a qualified individual with disabilities the opportunity to participate in programs or activities that are not separate or different, despite the existence of programs or activities that are permissibly separate or different for persons with disabilities.

(4) The agency may not, directly or through contractual or other arrangements, utilize criteria or methods of administration the purpose or effect of which would:

(i) Subject qualified individuals with disabilities to discrimination on the basis of disability; or

(ii) Defeat or substantially impair accomplishment of the objectives of a program or activity with respect to individuals with disabilities.

(5) The agency may not, in determining the site or location of a facility, make selections the purpose or effect of which would:

(i) Exclude individuals with disabilities from, deny them the benefits of, or otherwise subject them to discrimination under any program or activity conducted by the agency; or

(ii) Defeat or substantially impair the accomplishment of the objectives of a program or activity with respect to individuals with disabilities.

(6) The agency, in the selection of procurement contractors, may not use criteria that subject qualified individuals with disabilities to discrimination on the basis of disability.

(7) The agency may not administer a licensing or certification program in a manner that subjects qualified individuals with disabilities to discrimination on the basis of disability, nor may the agency establish requirements for the programs or activities of licensees or certified entities that subject qualified individuals with disabilities to discrimination on the basis of disability. However, the programs or activities of entities that are licensed or certified by the agency are not, themselves, covered by this part.

(c)(1) Notwithstanding any other provision of this part, persons without disabilities may be excluded from the benefits of a program if the program is limited by Federal statute or Executive order to individuals with disabilities. A specific class of individuals with disabilities may be excluded from a program if the program is limited by Federal statute or Executive order to a different class of individuals.

(2) Certain agency programs operate under statutory definitions of “persons with disabilities” that are more restrictive than the definition of “individual with disabilities” contained in §9.103. Those definitions are not superseded or otherwise affected by this regulation.

(d) The agency shall administer programs and activities in the most integrated setting appropriate to the needs of qualified individuals with disabilities.

(e) The obligation to comply with this part is not obviated or alleviated by any State or local law or other requirement that, based on disability, imposes inconsistent or contradictory prohibitions or limits upon the eligibility of qualified individuals with disabilities to receive services or to practice any occupation or profession.

(f) The enumeration of specific forms of prohibited discrimination in paragraphs (b) and (d) of this section does not limit the general prohibition in paragraph (a) of this section.

§9.131   Direct threat.

(a) This part does not require the agency to permit an individual to participate in, or benefit from the goods, services, facilities, privileges, advantages and accommodations of that agency when that individual poses a direct threat to the health or safety of others.

(b) “Direct threat” means a significant risk to the health or safety of others that cannot be eliminated by a modification of policies, practices, or procedures, or by the provision of auxiliary aids or services.

(c) In determining whether an individual poses a direct threat to the health or safety of others, the agency must make an individualized assessment, based on reasonable judgment that relies on current medical knowledge or on the best available objective evidence to ascertain: the nature, duration, and severity of the risk; the probability that the potential injury will actually occur; and whether reasonable modifications of policies, practices, or procedures will mitigate the risk.

§§9.132-9.139   [Reserved]

§9.140   Employment.

No qualified individual with disabilities shall, on the basis of disability, be subjected to discrimination in employment under any program or activity conducted by the agency. The definitions, requirements, and procedures of section 501 of the Rehabilitation Act of 1973 (29 U.S.C. 791), as established by the Equal Employment Opportunity Commission in 29 CFR part 1613 (subpart G), shall apply to employment in federally conducted programs or activities.

§§9.141-9.148   [Reserved]

§9.149   Program accessibility: discrimination prohibited.

Except as otherwise provided in §9.150, no qualified individual with disabilities shall, because the agency's facilities are inaccessible to or unusable by individuals with disabilities, be denied the benefits of, be excluded from participation in, or otherwise be subjected to discrimination under any program or activity conducted by the agency.

§9.150   Program accessibility: existing facilities.

(a) General. Except as otherwise provided in paragraph (e) of this section, the agency shall operate each program or activity so that the program or activity, when viewed in its entirety, is readily accessible to and usable by individuals with disabilities. This section does not—

(1) Necessarily require the agency to make each of its existing facilities accessible to and usable by individuals with disabilities;

(2) In the case of historic properties, require the agency to take any action that would result in a substantial impairment of significant historic features of an historic property; or

(3) Require the agency to take any action that it can demonstrate would result in a fundamental alteration in the nature of a program or activity or in undue financial and administrative burdens. In those circumstances where agency personnel believe that the proposed action would fundamentally alter the program or activity or would result in undue financial and administrative burdens, the agency has the burden of proving that compliance with §9.150(a) would result in such alteration or burdens. The decision that compliance would result in such alteration or burdens must be made by the Secretary or his or her designee after considering all agency resources available for use in the funding and operation of the conducted program or activity, and must be accompanied by a written statement of the reasons for reaching that conclusion. If an action would result in such an alteration or such burdens, the agency shall take any other action that would not result in such an alteration or such burdens but would nevertheless ensure that individuals with disabilities receive the benefits and services of the program or activity.

(b) Methods. The agency may comply with the requirements of this section through such means as redesign of equipment, reassignment of services to accessible buildings, assignment of aides to beneficiaries, home visits, delivery of services at alternate accessible sites, alteration of existing facilities and construction of new facilities, use of accessible rolling stock, or any other methods that result in making its programs or activities readily accessible to and usable by individuals with disabilities. The agency is not required to make structural changes in existing facilities where other methods are effective in achieving compliance with this section. The agency, in making alterations to existing buildings, also shall meet accessibility requirements to the extent compelled by the Architectural Barriers Act of 1968, as amended (42 U.S.C. 4151 through 4157), and any regulations implementing it. In choosing among available methods for meeting the requirements of this section, the agency shall give priority to those methods that offer programs and activities to qualified individuals with disabilities in the most integrated setting appropriate.

(c) Time period for compliance. The agency shall comply with the obligations established under this section within sixty days of July 18, 1994 except that where structural changes in facilities are undertaken, such changes shall be made within three years of July 18, 1994, but in any event as expeditiously as possible.

(d) Transition plan. In the event that structural changes to facilities will be undertaken to achieve program accessibility, the agency shall develop, within six months of July 18, 1994, a transition plan setting forth the steps necessary to complete such changes. The agency shall provide an opportunity to interested persons, including individuals with disabilities or organizations representing individuals with disabilities, to participate in the development of the transition plan by submitting comments (both oral and written). A copy of the transition plan shall be made available for public inspection. The plan shall, at a minimum—

(1) Identify physical obstacles in the agency's facilities that limit the accessibility of its programs or activities to individuals with disabilities;

(2) Describe in detail the methods that will be used to make the facilities accessible;

(3) Specify the schedule for taking the steps necessary to achieve compliance with this section and, if the time period of the transition plan is longer than one year, identify steps that will be taken during each year of the transition period; and

(4) Indicate the official responsible for implementation of the plan.

(e) The requirements of paragraphs (a), (b), and (c) of this section shall apply to the Property Disposition Programs. However, this section does not require HUD to make alterations to existing facilities that are part of the Property Disposition Programs unless such alterations are necessary to meet the needs of a current or prospective tenant during the time when HUD expects to retain legal possession of the facilities, and there is no alternative method to meet the needs of that current or prospective tenant. Nothing in this section shall be construed to require alterations to make facilities accessible to persons with disabilities who are expected to occupy the facilities only after HUD relinquishes legal possession.

§9.151   Program accessibility: new construction and alterations.

Each building or part of a building that is constructed or altered by, on behalf of, or for the use of the agency shall be designed, constructed, or altered and provide emergency egress so as to be readily accessible to and usable by individuals with disabilities. The definitions, requirements, and accessibility standards that apply to buildings covered by this section are those contained in the UFAS, except where the ADAAG provides for greater accessibility for the type of construction or alteration being undertaken, and in this case, the definitions, requirements and standards of the ADAAG shall apply.

§9.152   Program accessibility: alterations of Property Disposition Program multifamily housing facilities.

(a) Substantial alteration. If the agency undertakes alterations to a PDP multifamily housing project that has 15 or more units and the cost of the alterations is 75 percent or more of the replacement cost of the completed facility, then the project shall be designed and altered to be readily accessible to and usable by individuals with disabilities. Subject to paragraph (c) of this section, a minimum of five percent of the total dwelling units, or at least one unit, whichever is greater, shall be made accessible for persons with mobility impairments. A unit that is on an accessible route and is adaptable and otherwise in compliance with the standards set forth in paragraph (d) of this section is accessible for purposes of this section. An additional two percent of the units (but not less that one unit) in such a project shall be accessible for persons with hearing or vision impairments. If state or local requirements for alterations require greater action than this paragraph, those requirements shall prevail.

(b) Other alteration. (1) Subject to paragraph (c) of this section, alterations to dwelling units in a PDP multifamily housing project shall, to the maximum extent feasible, be made to be readily accessible to and usable by individuals with disabilities. If alterations of single elements or spaces of a dwelling unit, when considered together, amount to an alteration of a dwelling unit, the entire dwelling unit shall be made accessible. Once five percent of the dwelling units in a project are readily accessible to and usable by individuals with mobility impairments, then no additional elements of dwelling units, or entire dwelling units, are required to be accessible under this paragraph. Once two percent of the dwelling units in a project are readily accessible to or usable by individuals with hearing or vision impairments, then no additional elements of dwelling units, or entire dwelling units, are required to be accessible under this paragraph.

(2) Alterations to common areas or parts of facilities that affect accessibility of existing housing facilities, shall, to the maximum extent feasible, be made to be accessible to and usable by individuals with disabilities.

(c) The agency may establish a higher percentage or number of accessible units than that prescribed in paragraphs (a) or (b) of this section if the agency determines that there is a need for a higher percentage or number, based on census data or other available current data. In making such a determination, HUD shall take into account the expected needs of eligible persons with and without disabilities.

(d) The definitions, requirements, and accessibility standards that apply to PDP multifamily housing projects covered by this section are those contained in the UFAS, except where the ADAAG provides for greater accessibility for the type of alteration being undertaken, and, in this case, the definitions, requirements and standards of the ADAAG shall apply.

(e) With respect to multifamily housing projects operated by HUD, but in which HUD does not have an ownership interest, alterations under this section need not be made if doing so would impose undue financial and administrative burdens on the operation of the multifamily housing project.

§9.153   Distribution of accessible dwelling units.

Accessible dwelling units required by §9.152 shall, to the maximum extent feasible, be distributed throughout projects and sites and shall be available in a sufficient range of sizes and amenities so that a qualified individual with disabilities' choice of living arrangements is, as a whole, comparable to that of other persons eligible for housing assistance under the same agency conducted program. This provision shall not be construed to require (but does allow) the provision of an elevator in any multifamily housing project solely for the purpose of permitting location of accessible units above or below the accessible grade level.

§9.154   Occupancy of accessible dwelling units.

(a) The agency shall adopt suitable means to assure that information regarding the availability of accessible units in PDP housing facilities reaches eligible individuals with disabilities, and shall take reasonable nondiscriminatory steps to maximize the utilization of such units by eligible individuals whose disability requires the accessibility features of the particular unit. To this end, when an accessible unit becomes vacant, the agency (or its management agent) before offering such units to an applicant without disabilities shall offer such unit:

(1) First, to a current occupant of another unit of the same project, or comparable projects under common control, having disabilities requiring the accessibility features of the vacant unit and occupying a unit not having such features, or, if no such occupant exists, then

(2) Second, to an eligible qualified applicant on the waiting list having a disability requiring the accessibility features of the vacant unit.

(b) When offering an accessible unit to an applicant not having disabilities requiring the accessibility features of the unit, the agency may require the applicant to agree (and may incorporate this agreement in the lease) to move to a non-accessible unit when available.

§9.155   Housing adjustments.

(a) The agency shall modify its housing policies and practices as they relate to PDP housing facilities to ensure that these policies and practices do not discriminate, on the basis of disability, against a qualified individual with disabilities. The agency may not impose upon individuals with disabilities other policies, such as the prohibition of assistive devices, auxiliary aids, alarms, or guides in housing facilities, that have the effect of limiting the participation of tenants with disabilities in any agency conducted housing program or activity in violation of this part. Housing policies that the agency can demonstrate are essential to the housing program or activity will not be regarded as discriminatory within the meaning of this section if modifications would result in a fundamental alteration in the nature of the program or activity or undue financial and administrative burdens.

(b) The decision that compliance would result in such alteration or burdens must be made by the Secretary or his or her designee after considering all agency resources available for use in the funding and operation of the conducted program or activity, and must be accompanied by a written statement of the reasons for reaching that conclusion. If an action required to comply with this section would result in such an alteration or such burdens, the agency shall take any other action that would not result in such an alteration or such burdens but would nevertheless ensure that, to the maximum extent possible, individuals with disabilities receive the benefits and services of the program or activity.

§9.160   Communications.

(a) The agency shall take appropriate steps to ensure effective communication with applicants, participants, personnel of other Federal entities, and members of the public.

(1) The agency shall furnish appropriate auxiliary aids where necessary to afford an individual with disabilities an equal opportunity to participate in, and enjoy the benefits of, a program or activity conducted by the agency.

(i) In determining what type of auxiliary aid is necessary, the agency shall give primary consideration to the requests of the individual with disabilities.

(ii) The agency need not provide individually prescribed devices, readers for personal use or study, or other devices of a personal nature.

(2) Where the agency communicates with applicants and beneficiaries or members of the public by telephone, telecommunication devices for deaf persons (TDD's) or equally effective telecommunication systems shall be used to communicate with persons with impaired hearing.

(b) The agency shall ensure that interested persons, including persons with impaired vision or hearing, can obtain information as to the existence and location of accessible services, activities, and facilities.

(c) The agency shall provide signage at a primary entrance to each of its inaccessible facilities, directing users to a location at which they can obtain information about accessible facilities. The international symbol for accessibility shall be used at each primary entrance of an accessible facility.

(d) This section does not require the agency to take any action that it can demonstrate would result in a fundamental alteration in the nature of a program or activity or in undue financial and administrative burdens. In those circumstances where agency personnel believe that the proposed action would fundamentally alter the program or activity or would result in undue financial and administrative burdens, the agency has the burden of proving that compliance with this section would result in such alteration or burdens. The decision that compliance would result in such alteration or burdens must be made by the Secretary or his or her designee after considering all agency resources available for use in the funding and operation of the conducted program or activity and must be accompanied by a written statement of the reasons for reaching that conclusion. If an action required to comply with §9.160 would result in such an alteration or such burdens, the agency shall take any other action that would not result in such an alteration or such burdens but would nevertheless ensure that, to the maximum extent possible, individuals with disabilities receive the benefits and services of the program or activity.

§9.170   Compliance procedures.

(a) Except as provided in paragraph (b) of this section, this section applies to all allegations of discrimination on the basis of disability in programs or activities conducted by the agency.

(b) The agency shall process complaints alleging violations of section 504 with respect to employment according to the procedures established by the Equal Employment Opportunity Commission in 29 CFR part 1613 under section 501 of the Rehabilitation Act of 1973 (29 U.S.C. 791).

(c) The Responsible Official shall coordinate implementation of this section.

(d) Persons may submit complete complaints to the Assistant Secretary for Fair Housing and Equal Opportunity, 451 Seventh St., SW., Washington, DC 20410, or to any HUD Area Office. The agency shall accept and investigate all complete complaints for which the agency has jurisdiction. All complete complaints shall be filed within 180 days of the alleged act of discrimination. The agency may extend this time period for good cause. For purposes of determining when a complaint is filed, a complaint mailed to the agency shall be deemed filed on the date it is postmarked. Any other complaint shall be deemed filed on the date it is received by the agency. The agency shall acknowledge all complaints, in writing, within ten (10) working days of receipt of the complaint.

(e) If the agency receives a complaint over which it does not have jurisdiction, it shall promptly notify the complainant and shall make reasonable efforts to refer the complaint to the appropriate Government entity.

(f) The agency shall notify the Architectural and Transportation Barriers Compliance Board upon receipt of any complaint alleging that a building or facility that is subject to the Architectural Barriers Act of 1968, as amended (42 U.S.C. 4151 through 4157), is not readily accessible to and usable by individuals with disabilities. The agency shall delete the identity of the complainant from the copy of the complaint.

(g)(1) Within 180 days of the receipt of a complete complaint for which it has jurisdiction, the Office of Fair Housing and Equal Opportunity shall complete the investigation of the complaint, attempt informal resolution, and if no informal resolution is achieved, issue a letter of findings. If a complaint is filed against the Office of Fair Housing and Equal Opportunity, the Secretary or a designee of the Secretary shall investigate and resolve the complaint through informal agreement or letter of findings.

(2) If a complaint is resolved informally, the terms of the agreement shall be reduced to writing and made part of the complaint file, with a copy of the agreement provided to the complainant and the agency. The written agreement may include a finding on the issue of discrimination and shall describe any corrective action to which the complainant and the respondent have agreed.

(3) If a complaint is not resolved informally, the Office of Fair Housing and Equal Opportunity or a person designated under this paragraph shall notify the complainant of the results of the investigation in a letter containing—

(i) Findings of fact and conclusions of law;

(ii) A description of a remedy for each violation found;

(iii) A notice of the right to appeal to the Secretary;

(h)(1) Appeals of the findings of fact and conclusions of law or remedies must be filed by the complainant within 90 days of receipt from the agency of the letter required by §9.170(g). The Assistant Secretary or the person designated by the Secretary to decide an appeal of a complaint filed against the Office of Fair Housing and Equal Opportunity may extend this time for good cause.

(2) Timely appeals shall be accepted and processed by the Assistant Secretary. Decisions on an appeal shall not be issued by the person who made the initial determination.

(i) The Assistant Secretary or the person designated by the Secretary to decide an appeal of a complaint filed against the Office of Fair Housing and Equal Opportunity shall notify the complainant of the results of the appeal within 60 days of the receipt of the request. If the agency determines that it needs additional information from the complainant, it shall have 60 days from the date it receives the additional information to make its determination on the appeal.

(j) The time limits cited in paragraphs (g) and (i) of this section may be extended with the permission of the Assistant Attorney General.

(k) The agency may delegate its authority for conducting complaint investigations to other Federal agencies, except that the authority for making the final determination may not be delegated to another agency.

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