How to Find a Handicap-Accessible Apartment

Finding an affordable apartment in a desirable location with the right amenities is already a huge challenge. For people with disabilities, it’s even harder to find an apartment with proper handicap-accessible features.

While a search for handicap-accessible apartments may seem overwhelming, there are ways to find an apartment that suits your accessibility and mobility needs.

Check out the following four items to learn more about handicap-accessible apartments. The perfect handicap-accessible room in the perfect handicap-accessible apartment is out there for you, and we’ll help you find it.

1. You’re the expert on you.

No property manager, real estate agent, or non-profit housing counselor knows as well as you do what will make a property an ideal fit. Only you know that!

Since you’re the expert, you’ll need to advocate for what you want. If it helps, write down your “wants,” “needs,” and any other related notes before your search begins. Studies have shown that making a list is key to accomplishing goals.

A list might include required handicap accessible features for ADA apartments:

  • Accessible parking
  • Elevator access
  • Roll-in shower
  • Nearby amenities

2. You have help.

The Department of Housing and Urban Development (HUD), Section 8 vouchers, city housing organizations, and nonprofits all help those with disabilities find affordable, safe, and comfortable housing that fits their needs and lifestyle.

You’re the “you” expert, but that doesn’t mean you have to fly solo on your search for a handicap accessible apartment. You’ve already found one of your most important resources:

Search Help

Searching for an apartment with the features you need is as easy as 1-2-3:

  1. From the ApartmentSearch home page, enter your location and click "Go"
  2. On the results page, click the drop-down arrow under the word “Advanced”
  3. When the “Advanced” window expands, select “Wheelchair Access,” “Elevator,” and any other amenities you desire.
  4. Exit the Advanced window and click "Go" to see listings for properties that have the amenities you selected.

Moving Tips

Finding a new apartment means there’s a move in your near future. Check out these tips about handling a move if you’re disabled.

3. You need to do your homework.

You’ve made your list(s) and used ApartmentSearch to locate promising locations. But there’s still some homework left to do!

Familiarize yourself with the Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA). You have anti-discrimination rights under the ADA which help you find affordable, safe, and comfortable housing that fits your needs and lifestyle.

Speaking of affordability: you’ve already determined how much you can afford for rent each month, right? One tip: consider renting your furniture through CORT, which can save you money and reduce shopping and moving frustrations.

4. You should channel your inner Sherlock Holmes for the tour.

Researching an apartment online, calling the property manager—that’s all well and good, but there’s no substitute for being there. Multiple visits can help you spot potential problems, scope out the neighborhood’s character, and get more familiar with your new home and its amenities.

There’s also no substitute for being there multiple times. It’s easy to see the good things about an apartment during the first visit. But after an initial viewing, schedule a second and even third showing to make sure you really like the place.

Note whether you can make modifications during the rental period. Ask as many questions as possible and feel free to reach out to neighbors—especially those with disabilities who might have some insight.

Your new home is out there!

Looking for an accessible apartment can be a challenge. But with the right amount of research and help from online tools like ApartmentSearch, it’s possible to find the perfect handicapped accessible apartment. Happy searching!

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