Frequently Asked Questions (FAQ) About: Fair housing for sober living: how the fair housing act addresses recovery matthew gorman?
Fair housing for sober living: how the fair housing act addresses recovery matthew gorman
A problem faced by many in the Recovery Community is that there are conflicting views among those in recovery about Fair Housing for Sobriety. Fair housing is designed to afford all citizens an equal opportunity to live without discrimination. Because of this, there are those who view the inclusion of sober living as discrimination or a negative contribution to recovery. However, the Fair Housing for Sobriety act was passed after decades of studies and research into the well-being of those in recovery. The act clearly states, “Unquestionably recovery treatment facilities cannot deny access based on persons’ race, color, religion, sex, national origin, age, disability, or the use of any other eligibility factor.” As noted in the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development’s Fair Housing for Alcoholism and Drug Abuse Prevention Act of 1996, recovery communities, recovery housing, and facilities dedicated to addiction have a special obligation to be accessible to all. In this regard, residents, visitors, visitors’ helpers, volunteers, patients, and employees are entitled to equal access. Another example of this basic principle of recovery related to discrimination can be found in the use of alcohol and drug abuse as a criminal offense. Those who have been charged with such offenses are not permitted to be barred from participating in government-sponsored programs, such as fair housing for sober living. It is the intention of these programs to provide for the safety, security, and health of the general public, in addition to those in recovery. The only possible discrimination here is when those in recovery are treated differently from the rest of the public. One other related area of debate related to Fair Housing for Sobriety involves the issue of rent control. Because the act aims to end discrimination, not only does it allow sober homes to charge reasonable rents for such properties, but it allows recovery communities to levy reasonable rents for space in the community. Because the Fair Housing for Alcoholism and Drug Abuse Prevention Act was passed, recovery communities cannot discriminate against anyone based on race, religion, or sex. It is also legal for residential care facilities to offer competitive rent deals to both its residents and visitors. This is another aspect of recovery that does not include the belief that sobriety alone is the key to a successful life. The fair housing for sober living is also geared toward meeting the needs of all people, not just recovering individuals. In this regard, at least one house or rehabilitation facility has developed a program that provides a place where everyone can live and exercise in safe and secure surroundings. Located on a former alcoholic shelter property, it contains four different buildings with all of the amenities, including television, plumbing, heating, and a gymnasium. For those who argue that they can participate in recovery programs without being treated differently from those of the general public, this is another illustration of a hopeful result of the act. It permits recovery facilities to offer fair housing for sober living that does not discriminate against the recovery community, so long as the resident gets equal access to all programs offered. It is important to note that the Fair Housing for Sobriety acts does not address private housing or residents, or those who are recovering from substance abuse. There is a lack of information on the availability of fair housing for sober living, and little focus on the complex issues that affect recovering citizens.