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Are my rights to accessible housing different if I live in public housing instead of a private home?

Your right to live in a house that meets your disability needs are different for public housing compared to private housing.

Public housing is houses, flats or apartments owned by the government. These are for people who do not have enough money to buy or rent a house, or for people with a disability who can’t find a house to rent that meets their needs. You can ask for a public house that meets your disability need. For example a house with wheelchair chair access in all rooms, and a shower without steps. Not all public houses have these things, but you can ask to live in one that does.

Private houses, flats or apartments are owned by a person, family or company. They are not owned by the government. If you own the house that you live in, you can build and change it to meet your disability needs. But you do have to follow the building laws set by the government. Some examples of things you could do are making doorways wider or building a whole new bathroom.

If you rent a private home that you do not own, the law says you can make ‘reasonable alterations’ to your house. Reasonable alternations are changes to the home which meet your disability needs, and can easily be change back when you move out. Some examples might be a wooden ramp on your front door step or changing the taps in the bathroom and kitchen.

If your landlord or real estate agent tells you that you can’t make reasonable changes to your rented home, and your situation does not match some special situations, you can contact the Tenants Union of Victoria,  Youth Disability Advocacy Service or Victorian Equal Opportunity and Human Rights Commission for more information and help.

Getting help with this

Level 2, 180 Flinders Street, Melbourne 3000
Phone:9267 3733
Fax: 9639 1622
Email: ydasadvocate@yacvic.org.au
Website: http://www.ydas.org.au/

55 Johnston Street Fitzroy 3065 Post: PO Box 234 Fitzroy Victoria 3065
Phone:9411 1444
Fax: 9416 0513
Email: admin@tuv.org.au
Website: http://www.tuv.org.au/