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Fair Housing

The South Mississippi Housing Authority strives to ensure equal housing opportunity for everyone. We are committed to eliminating discrimination based on race, color, national origin, religion, sex(including gender identity and sexual orientation), familial status and disability in accordance with the Fair Housing Act.


Reasonable Accommodation Request

In order to ensure equal housing opportunities to persons with disabilities, the South Mississippi Housing Authority allows all applicants and residents with qualified disabilities to request reasonable accommodations at any time. South Mississippi Housing Authority uses two different definitions of disability: the HUD definition used for rent calculations and eligibility determinations, and the ADA/Fair Housing Act definition.

The HUD definition uses the definition in section 223 of the Social Security Act. Section 223 of the Social Security Act defines disability as:

      Inability to engage in any substantial, gainful activity
      by reason of any medically determinable physical or
      mental impairment which can be expected to result in
      death or which has lasted or can be expected to last for
      a continuous period of not less than 12 months; or
      In the case of an individual who has attained the age of
      55 and is blind (within the meaning of "blindness" as
      defined in Section 416(i)(1) of this title), inability
      by reason of such blindness to engage in substantial
      gainful activity requiring skills or abilities
      comparable to those of any gainful activity in which he
      has previously engaged with some regularity and over a
      substantial period of time."

The Fair Housing act definition of disability comes from 24CFR parts 8.3 and 100.201. For a person to be considered disabled under this provision the person must:

  1. Have a physical, mental, or emotional impairment that substantially limits one or more of the person's major life activities;
    • Major life activities means functions as caring for one's self, performing manual tasks, walking, seeing, hearing, speaking, breathing, learning and working.
  2. have a record of such an impairment;
  3. be regarded as having such an impairment.

What is a Reasonable Accommodation?

A reasonable accommodation is a change the South Mississippi Housing Authority can make to its procedures in order to assist an otherwise qualified applicant or participant with a disability.

To request a reasonable accommodation please reach out to our ADA Coordinator:

Rachelle Vieages (228)365-7570

Violence Against Women Act

"The Violence Against Women Act (VAWA) is a federal law that, in part, provides housing protections for people applying for or living in units subsidized by the federal government and who have experienced domestic violence, dating violence, sexual assault, or stalking, to help keep them safe and reduce their likelihood of experiencing homelessness." -

Under VAWA, someone who has experienced domestic violence, dating violence, sexual assault, and/or stalking (VAWA violence/abuse):

  • Cannot be denied admission to or assistance under a HUD-subsidized or assisted unit or program because of the VAWA violence/abuse committed against them.
  • Cannot be evicted from a HUD-subsidized unit nor have their assistance terminated because of the VAWA violence/abuse committed against them.
  • Cannot be denied admission, evicted, or have their assistance terminated for reasons related to the VAWA violence/abuse, such as having an eviction record, criminal history, or bad credit history.
  • Must have the option to stay in their HUD-subsidized housing, even if there has been criminal activity directly related to the VAWA violence/abuse.
  • Can request an emergency transfer from the housing provider for safety reasons related to the VAWA violence/abuse committed against them.
  • Must be allowed to move with continued assistance, if the survivor has a Section 8 Housing Choice Voucher.
  • Must be able to provide proof to the housing provider by self-certifying using the HUD VAWA Self-certification (Form HUD-5382), and not be required to provide more proof unless the housing provider has conflicting information about the violence/abuse.
  • Must receive HUD's Notice of VAWA Housing Rights (Form HUD-5380) and HUD's VAWA Self-certification Form (Form HUD-5382) from the housing provider, when they are denied admission to a HUD-subsidized unit or HUD program, when they are admitted to a HUD-subsidized unit or HUD program, and when they receive a notice of eviction from a HUD-subsidized unit or notice of termination from a HUD program.
  • Has a right to strict confidentiality of information regarding their status as a survivor.
  • Can request a lease bifurcation from the owner or landlord to remove the perpetrator from the lease or unit, and if the housing provider bifurcates, it must be done consistent with applicable federal, state, or local laws and the requirements of the HUD housing program.
  • Cannot be coerced, intimated, threatened, or retaliated against by HUD-subsidized housing providers for seeking or exercising VAWA protections.
  • Has the right to seek law enforcement or emergency assistance for themselves or others without being penalized by local laws or policies for these requests or because they were victims of criminal activity.

VAWA Forms:

Notice of Occupancy Rights under VAWA(Form HUD-5380)

Emergency Transfer Plan for Victims of Domestic Violence, Dating Violence, Sexual Assault or Stalking (Form HUD-5381)

Certification of Domestic Violence, Dating Violence, Sexual Assault or Stalking, and Alternate Documentation (Form HUD-5382)(5382 Spanish)(5382 Vietnamese)

Emergency Transfer Request for Certain Victims of Domestic Violence, Dating Violence, Sexual Assault or Stalking (Form HUD-5383)

Click here for a list of Fair Housing Resources From HUD