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The Fair Housing Act prohibits discrimination on the basis of handicap. "Handicap" has the same legal meaning as the term "disability" which is used in other federal civil rights laws. Persons with disabilities (handicaps) are individuals with mental or physical impairments which substantially limit one or more major life activities. The term mental or physical impairment may include conditions such as blindness, hearing impairment, mobility impairment, HIV infection, mental retardation, alcoholism, drug addiction, chronic fatigue, learning disability, head injury, and mental illness. The term major life activity may include seeing, hearing, walking, breathing, performing manual tasks, caring for one's self, learning, speaking, or working. The Fair Housing Act also protects persons who have a record of such an impairment, or are regarded as having such an impairment.
Current users of illegal controlled substances, persons convicted for illegal manufacture or distribution of a controlled substance, sex offenders, and juvenile offenders, are not considered disabled under the Fair Housing Act, by virtue of that status.
The Fair Housing Act affords no protections to individuals with or without disabilities who present a direct threat to the persons or property of others. Determining whether someone poses such a direct threat must be made on an individualized basis, however, and cannot be based on general assumptions or speculation about the nature of a disability.
Title II prohibits discrimination based on disability in programs, services, and activities provided or made available by public entities. HUD enforces Title II when it relates to state and local public housing, housing assistance and housing referrals.
The Architectural Barriers Act requires that buildings and facilities designed, constructed, altered, or leased with certain federal funds after September 1969 must be accessible to and useable by handicapped persons.
Section 504 prohibits discrimination based on disability in any program or activity receiving federal financial assistance.
This site maintains CDR's goals to "act as advocates for people with disabilities; support their empowerment to live independently; and oppose discrimination in housing, education, transportation, employment and health." Provided are local, state, and national news stories, descriptions of structural barriers, American with Disabilities Act regulations ("for non-lawyers"), and a guide to disability rights.