Handicapped Accessibility

Q. Does the Housing Authority have accommodations for persons with disabilities?
A. Yes

Q. What is the definition of a ‘person with disabilities’ for the purpose of being eligible for one of these special apartments in public housing?
A. Wheelchair or scooter needed to maneuver within the unit.

Q. What makes these apartments for persons with disabilities so accessible?
A. Kitchen counters, sink, stove are all lowered. Bath is handicap accessible (shower stall), lower sinks.

Q. A member of my family often requires use of a wheelchair. Am I eligible for an accessible apartment, and if so, how can I apply for one?
A. Yes, the application asks if such a unit is needed.

Q. How can I make a request to have modifications made to my current apartment to accommodate a disability?
A. “Reasonable Accommodations” should be directed to the manager on site

Q. I am confined to a wheelchair. If an elevator is out of service after regular business hours, what can I do?
A. Unless you live in the Lincoln Park apartments, where we have what are called “skip elevators” (that is where there is only one elevator car servicing odd and even floors), it would be a rarity for both elevators to be down. Other than Lincoln, all other Authority high rise buildings have dual elevator car service to all floors. As a general rule, and this would apply in all of our high rise buildings, in the case of a building emergency, i.e. a fire in a unit the elevator cars are automatically put into what is called “firemen’s recall mode” which means they go directly to the lobby and remain there. At that point only the fire department can operate the cars using a firemen’s recall key which they have full access to. Additionally, it is everyone’s contention that should there be a fire in a high rise building all tenants whether handicapped or not should remain in their apartments and wait for the fire department to issue directions, which in some cases could be orders to evacuate their units. In the case of a handicapped individual the fire department would handle evacuating them from the building.

In a case where there is no fire emergency and the elevator or elevators are down due to technical reasons, anyone wheelchair bound should stay in their apartment until the cars are back in service. If it were to be a personal emergency and the person had to leave their apartment to seek medical treatment they should dial 911. The Authority also has a contract with an elevator service provider that is very much ironclad. It states emphatically that an elevator car out of service is to be dealt with immediately. The contract clearly sets parameters for acceptable response times by the vender for cars out of service.