HELPPP!! Fair Housing Act, Americans with disabilities act

3 Replies

I am having some issues with the township and some surrounding neighbors and wanted to see if someone could help. I own a recovery/sober living house. 10 members live in the 5 bedroom home unrelated. The township is giving us some issues due to the borough doesn't allow no more than 3 unrelated tenants in a property. No one is on a lease it is a self run sober living home for people recovering from drug and alcohol addiction. Is anyone familiar with the ADA or fair housing act and it would allow us to be covered to allow this house to have all 10 members in the home without an issue. It's just a normal house everyone cooks, cleans, works and participates in the community as a family but no one is related. They are making it very hard for us to live here. Can anyone help???

Thank you,

Charles Kappe 

[email protected]

@Charles Kappe hi charles would you be willing to tell me how it turned out.sober living/addiction is covered under the disabilities act and if the community raises problem or sues you it will not stick.but if you resolved this issue i would love to know how you did it.thanks

The below information was taken from http://oxfordhouse.org/


Q. Don’t zoning laws limit where a group of unrelated individuals can rent a house?

Fortunately, the 1988 Amendments to the Federal Fair Housing Act prohibit discrimination against handicapped individuals. This prohibition requires local governments to make a reasonable accommodation in their zoning laws to enable handicap individuals to effectively deal with their disability.

Q. Don’t zoning laws limit where a group of unrelated individuals can rent a house?

return to questions

Q. Are recovering alcoholics, drug addicts and those with co-occurring mental illness really handicapped?

Q. Are recovering alcoholics, drug addicts and those with co-occurring mental illness really handicapped?

Yes, because alcoholism, drug addiction and mental illness are handicapping conditions. Oxford House, Inc. litigated the issue and in 1995 the United States Supreme Court considered the issue in City of Edmonds, WA v. Oxford House, Inc. et. al. 514 US 725 (1995). In that case the Court found that alcoholics and drug addicts were handicapped within the meaning the law and therefore a protected class requiring that local governments make a reasonable accommodation in zoning laws restricting groups of unrelated persons to live together. Since then courts have found that the same protection applies with respect to fire safety standards and rates charged property owners for property insurance coverage. In fact, Oxford Houses must be treated the same as ordinary families.

Zoning

Oxford Houses are considered single family residences for purposes of zoning. This has always been true in practice and since March 12, 1989, the effective date of the 1988 Amendments to the Federal Fair Housing Act, it has been a matter of law. Those amendments make it unlawful for any jurisdiction to discriminate against congregate living for the disabled. Recovering alcoholics and drug addicts are within the scope of the term "disabled". Therefore, Oxford Houses are not subject to zoning laws regulating the number of unrelated individuals who may live in a single family dwelling. An Oxford House is not a treatment facility. It is simply an alcohol and drug free living environment which provides and opportunity for recovering individuals to live as a family unit focused on the need to change their individual lifestyle to one absolutely free of alcohol and drug use.

Oxford House, Inc., will legally defend any claim of zoning violation made by localities still unfamiliar with the Federal Fair Housing Act.

@Charles Kappe - Oxford is big here in Washington. Many people I care about were helped by Oxford Housing. Can you fill me in on the process, maybe some pro's and con's?

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