Purchasing a home can feel like a rite of passage for many individuals and families. It's an exciting time, but there are a lot of details to consider. When it comes to homebuying with a disability, however, there are even more added layers of options and key information that are critical to know.
Here are just a few things you should keep in mind as a homebuyer with a disability.
Protection Against Discrimination
Your rights as a homebuyer with a disability include coverage under the federal Fair Housing Act—it essentially dictates that an agency or financial institution cannot discriminate against you or make selling decisions based upon your disability. This act is enforced on the federal level, and you have recourse in case you feel you've been mistreated on the basis of your disability.
Right to Modify Your Home
As a homebuyer with a disability, you also have the right to modify your purchased home in a way that provides reasonable accommodation for your enjoyment of the property. This might include wheelchair access or other needed modifications. These reasonable accommodations may supersede rules set out by a seller, a development or a homeowner's association.
If meeting the financial standards of purchasing a home are keeping you from buying, the federal Department of Housing and Urban Development (HUD) offers a program ideal for people with disabilities in this situation. The Homeownership Voucher Program is designed to assist individuals and families who struggle to make mortgage payments. These vouchers can be used toward a variety of homeownership-related expenses, such as mortgage payments, taxes, insurance, utility bills and maintenance.
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Beyond your rights as a potential homeowner, you also have an option here in South Dakota as a person with a disability. The South Dakota Housing Development Authority (SDHDA) offers the Governor's House program, which is designed to provide high-quality, energy-efficient, pre-built homes to people who are living on a budget, elderly or disabled. If you meet certain income standards, you simply need to have a lot and building permit purchased, a foundation poured and utilities set up, and a fully built Governor's House can be delivered to you.
Click below to see if you meet qualifications for a Governor's House.