WASHINGTON, D.C. – October 22, 2008 – (RealEstateRama) — The U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development (HUD) and the Alaska Housing Finance Corporation (AHFC) today signed an agreement that will create more housing for persons with disabilities. As part of the Voluntary Compliance Agreement announced today, AHFC agreed to make five percent of its housing stock fully accessible.
The Agreement is the result of a HUD review of AHFC in September 2006 that included an accessibility inspection of housing units, administrative offices and common areas, and an analysis of, the agency’s policies and procedures. HUD also reviewed AHFC’s management of applicant waiting lists, applications, maintenance records, and reasonable accommodation requests.
“I am very pleased that the Alaska Housing Finance Corporation has voluntarily entered into this partnership with HUD,” said Kim Kendrick, Assistant Secretary for Fair Housing and Equal Opportunity. “When local, state and federal groups collaborate in partnership, we can create more housing opportunities, not just for persons with disabilities, but for all people.”
Under the new agreement, AHFC will:
- Convert a minimum of five percent (67 units) of its housing stock into fully-accessible units that will include lower kitchen counters, grab bars, and other features of accessible design;
- Make improvements in the management of their housing wait list to maximize the availability of accessible units for individuals with disabilities and their families;
- Ensure that applicants and residents with disabilities who rely on assistance animals have equal, unrestricted access to AHFC’s programs; and
- Train current and new employees about the responsibilities and procedures created under this agreement.
During the past year, HUD executed similar agreements with the Seattle Housing Authority and the Cuyahoga Metropolitan Housing Authority in Cleveland. In the past six years, more than 6,000 accessible units will be developed as results of national voluntary compliance agreements signed with housing authorities across the country.
Within the next several months, HUD will conduct a review of the Newark (NJ) Housing Authority to ensure that its programs, facilities and housing units are accessible to people with disabilities. HUD will also review the progress of prior agreements with the Puerto Rico Housing Authority and the District of Columbia Housing Authority.
HUD is the nation’s housing agency committed to increasing homeownership, particularly among minorities; creating affordable housing opportunities for low-income Americans; and supporting the homeless, elderly, people with disabilities and people living with AIDS. The Department also promotes economic and community development and enforces the nation’s fair housing laws. More information about HUD and its programs is available on the Internet at www.hud.gov and espanol.hud.gov.