AARP Foundation Litigation:
Housing and Livable Communities Team
- Susan Ann Silverstein
- Julie Nepveu
The AFL Housing and Livable Communities Team’s work focuses on aging in place. The vast majority of people 50 and older prefer to remain in their homes as they age. Their ability to age in place depends on the availability of affordable and accessible housing. The team participates in housing, transportation and land-use cases that support livable communities through enforcement of the federal Fair Housing Act (FHA), the Americans With Disabilities Act (ADA), Section 504 of the Rehabilitation Act and other federal, state and local civil rights laws. The team has worked to ensure that there is an adequate supply of low-income housing by working on defending existing laws that maintain reasonable rent increases in manufactured home parks, as well as state and local laws supporting rental vouchers. The team challenges reductions and restrictions that financially affect residents of public housing and assisted housing. The team also works to ensure that tenancy rules are applied fairly.
In order to age in place in the community, housing must allow delivery of personal care services. Design and construction standards creating accessible, visitable or universal design dwellings are important. Residents must be able to obtain reasonable accommodations to rules and policies or permission to make physical modifications to the premises. The team has been especially involved in housing cases where the housing provider has categorically refused to allow such assistance — for instance, housing authorities that have refused to allow family members to serve as live-in aides or assisted living facilities (ALF) that have not allowed private attendants or mobility devices.
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Find the most recent cases in which AFL has advocated in courts nationwide for the rights of older persons, and filed AARP’s amicus curiae (“friend of the court”) briefs that help courts decide precedent-setting cases.
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