The Fair Housing Act extends protection from discrimination beyond state actors. For example, courts have sustained the position that insurance companies cannot charge landlords more for comprehensive insurance when the landlord is renting property to handicapped individuals. 2d 1 (D.D.C. 1999), two landlords who rented their homes to people with disabilities were denied standard landlord insurance and were directed to purchase costlier commercial insurance policies. The Wai Case settled the fact that recovering alcoholics and drug addicts are subject to the nondiscrimination provisions of both FFHA and ADA whether such discrimination is from the state or private entities. John Stanton, one of the Washington, DC attorneys handling that case, has written a law review article covering the entire matter of discrimination under the Fair Housing Act, as amended, and the rights of disabled individuals.
- 2d 1 (D.D.C. 1999), two landlords who rented their homes to people with disabilities were denied standard landlord insurance and were directed to purchase costlier commercial insurance policies.
- Additionally, you should get to know the people you’ll be living with.
- This is understandable since as many as 80% of the current jail/prison population are alcoholics and drug addicts.
- As soon as Oxford House Inc., hears of such problems, it takes corrective action because the good name of Oxford House is an important factor in the recovery of thousands of individuals.
- Residents usually sign a contract or written agreement outlining all of the rules and regulations of living at the sober living home.
Depending on the city, neighborhood and services offered, rent can range from $300 to $2,000 per month. Some sober homes do not require residents to pay utility bills, but utilities may be rationed to avoid waste. The goal of sober living homes is to monitor and improve health, safety and wellness using peer support. The goal of many halfway houses is to reduce recidivism among felons using supervision.
How Long Can I Stay at a Sober Living Home?
If the individual is a signatory to the lease the immediate eviction becomes difficult, if not impossible, because of local landlord-tenant rights. In many jurisdictions it takes up to ninety days to evict a tenant even for non-payment of rent. Since no individual is a signatory to a Oxford House lease, the relapsing individual who is being evicted has no legal rights to delay his or her departure. There is no way to accomplish this result without the signature on the lease being in the name of the particular Oxford House group.
- Most homes have household meetings nightly, and residents often attend treatment, support group meetings or other wellness activities together.
- If the individual is a signatory to the lease the immediate eviction becomes difficult, if not impossible, because of local landlord-tenant rights.
- But many sober homes require residents to attend support group meetings or participate in 12-step programs or outpatient treatment, which may be an additional cost for residents to consider.
- Oxford House, Inc., monitors the activities of each house in a number of ways.
- To begin the admission process, you must fill out an Oxford House application.
The landlord deals with duly constituted officers of the group and can expect accountability for all matters concerning the occupancy. Individuals come and go but officers will always be duly authorized to act for the group. Moreover, the landlord does not have to worry about the accountability of particular individuals.
Q. What if there is no Oxford House in the area, or there are no vacancies in any Oxford House in the region?
Oxford Houses are considered single family residences for purposes of zoning. This has always been true in practice and since March 12, 1989, the effective date of the 1988 Amendments to the Federal Fair Housing Act, it has been a matter of law. Those amendments make it unlawful for any jurisdiction to discriminate against congregate living for the disabled. Recovering alcoholics and drug addicts are within the scope of the term “disabled”. Therefore, Oxford Houses are not subject to zoning laws regulating the number of unrelated individuals who may live in a single family dwelling.
The daily schedule at sober living homes is heavily influenced by the residents’ current stage of recovery. Some homes are highly structured, with strict schedules and consistent eating and meeting times. Other homes have more free time, and residents are more independent. The ways that sober living houses work vary depending on the level of support provided.
Opera and Ballet Gala at the Municipal House
In 1994, Robert L. Schonfeld, Esq. and Seth P. Stein, Esq. [currently with Moritt Hock Hamroff & Horowitz LLP, Garden City, NY] writing in the Fordham Urban Law Journal, Vol. While the article was published a few months before the Supreme Court decided City of Edmonds, WA v. Oxford House, Inc., https://ecosoberhouse.com/ the Court’s decision is consistent with the reasoning and conclusions of Schonfeld and Stein. In other homes, counselors or case managers visit on a regular basis to provide in-home services. Former residents and treatment alumni may visit regularly to provide additional guidance and support.
In 1975, Oxford House leases were pathfinders in the landlord-tenant arena. Today, they have become the norm for the thirty-nine states and two hundred-nineteen oxford house rules cities in which Oxford House operates. The leases are exactly the same as a lease to a single family but with certain important distinctions.
This involves weekly reports, periodic phone calls and the maintenance of continuous contact to keep track of vacancies and assure financial responsibility. While research on AA has been limited by the role of anonymity in recovery, the willingness of the Oxford Houses to open their doors to academic research gives us an opportunity to see recovery from addiction in action. The Board of Directors maintains the sole right to Charter, and to revoke the Charter of, individual Oxford Houses and exercises authority over the policies and officers of Oxford House, Inc. In this way, Oxford House, Inc. remains responsive to the needs of the population it serves. Experience has shown that Oxford Houses work for both men and women, but not in the same house.
After treatment, many individuals return to high-risk environments. Your friends or family members may tempt you with alcohol or other drugs by consuming them in front of you. Oxford House has as its primary goal the provision of housing and rehabilitative support for the alcoholic and drug addict who wants to stop drinking or using drugs and stay stopped. Who Signs the Lease
The signatory of the lease is the individual Oxford House; for example, Oxford House – Main Street. The effect of this commitment by the group to the landlord is important because of the nature of Oxford House and the application of local landlord-tenant laws.
Q. Don’t zoning laws limit where a group of unrelated individuals can rent a house?
Unlike many halfway houses, sober homes are not monitored by state agencies. Oxford House, Inc., monitors the activities of each house in a number of ways. It has on-site support by dedicated members of Alcoholics Anonymous and Narcotics Anonymous. Individuals active in those programs have the Oxford House toll-free telephone number and call Oxford House headquarters if a particular house is not strictly carrying out its responsibilities under its charter. Getting sober and staying sober is serious business for these recovering individuals and their dedication to helping others achieve sobriety is unsurpassed. Who is Responsible
The particular group house is responsible to the landlord.
Experience of Oxford House has shown that from 8 to 15 members works very well. Oxford House will not charter a house with fewer than six individuals because experience has shown that it takes at least six individuals to form an effective group. Oxford House follows a rule of law in making certain that its time-tested system of operation works well. At the same time Oxford House follows laws in the community at large including those that prohibit others from discriminating against the existence of the individual Oxford House. The landlord gets additional benefit from this type of agreement.