The Housing Authority of Baltimore City (“HABC”) implemented a system for establishing the appropriate utility allowance schedules for Residents at certain individually-metered HABC developments (the “Developments”), and assessing charges to Residents whose utility consumption exceeds their utility allowance. Residents of these Developments who have a disability or who have a household member with a disability and use medical or other equipment or resource to address the disability, that impacts their utility consumption, may request a reasonable accommodation for an increase in their utility allowance. This document sets forth the procedures for Residents to request an increase as a reasonable accommodation due to a disability.
1. The person(s) with a disability who uses medical or other equipment or resource that impacts the household’s utility consumption must be a household member identified in the lease.
2. If the reasonable accommodation request is granted, the household’s utility allowance will be increased to address the use of medical or other equipment for the disability. The Resident will still be responsible for any charges for utility consumption that exceeds the increased utility allowance amount.
III. Reasonable Accommodation Procedures
1. A Resident seeking an increase in the household’s utility allowance due to the use of medical or other equipment or resource to address a disability shall submit a reasonable accommodation request to the Housing Manager of the Development where the Resident lives.
2. The Housing Manager shall provide the Resident with: (1) a Disability Verification form, and (2) a Medical Equipment form, which must be completed by the healthcare provider of the household member with the disability.
3. The Disability Verification form and the Medical Equipment form do not have to be completed by a doctor, but must be completed by a health care provider, who may be a social worker, nurse practitioner, physical therapist, physician’s assistant clinician, or other health professional who is familiar with household member’s disability and the equipment required to address the household member’s disability.
4. The healthcare provider must complete the Resident’s Medical Equipment form, and identify each piece of equipment or other device or resource used by the household member with a disability, the manufacturer of the equipment or device (if known), and the number of days per week and hours per day that the equipment is used, or otherwise describe how the resource is made available to the household member with a disability. The Medical Equipment form lists typically used medical devices but allows for the person completing the form to add equipment not listed on the form as may be applicable.
5. The Resident shall submit both the completed Disability Verification form and the completed Medical Equipment form to the management office of his or her Development. The Housing Manager shall then forward the completed Disability Verification form and completed Medical Equipment form to the HABC 504 Coordination Unit for review and decision.
6. A member of HABC’s 504 Coordination unit may meet with the Resident to obtain more information as may be necessary to review the Resident’s reasonable accommodation request.
7. After HABC has received all of the information needed to consider the reasonable accommodation request, a decision will be made whether to approve or deny the request.
8. The Resident will be notified in writing if the decision is approved or denied. If the reasonable accommodation request is denied, the notice will explain the reason for the denial. The notice shall also inform the Resident of the decision denying the request and shall further provide names of agencies the Resident may contact if the Resident disagrees with the decision.
9. If the request is approved, the request will be referred to HABC’s Office of Energy and Environmental Programs (“EEP Billing and Metering Unit”), which will determine the amount of the increase in the utility allowance, using the same technical resources used to establish utility allowances. If HABC determines that the increase is to be made retroactive, the EEP Billing and Metering Unit will determine the credit amount due to the resident using the same technical resources used to establish utility allowances.
10. The amount of the utility allowance increase will be reflected in the Resident’s rent statement. Residents will also receive written communication from EEP Billing and Metering Unit, detailing the utility allowance adjustments.
11. If the utility allowance increase is made retroactive, the Resident will receive a one-time retroactive credit in dollar amount. Such retroactive credit will be applied first to any excess utility charges assessed against the Resident from the retroactive date to the present date. If the Resident has made payments for excess utility charges and has a remaining credit after the retroactive credit has been applied, any remaining credit amount will be refunded to the Resident. If the Resident has not made any payments for excess utility charges but has a remaining credit after the retroactive credit has been applied, such remaining credit amount will be applied to any future excess utility charge.