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To consider moving out on your own, you need a steady income sufficient to cover rent and other expenses and the ability to manage personal care and housework. Think about supports and services that you may need to live on your own. You should probably consider living with a roommate to help with expenses and chores.

Here are some tips on renting an apartment:

  • Make a budget and know how much rent you can afford.
  • Save money for a security deposit and the first month’s rent. (The security deposit is used to pay for repairing any damages to the place when you move out. If there are no damages, this money is refunded.)
  • List what an apartment needs in order to work for you. Wheelchair access or being close to a bus stop or Metro station, for example.
  • Check newspaper ads and apartment guidebooks for available apartments.
  • Dress neatly and cleanly when you go to rental offices and take your driver's license or other photo identification.

The Fair Housing Act also allows people with disabilities to have reasonable accommodations or changes of rules, policies, and practices to be able to use and enjoy their homes in ways similar to those without disabilities. The Fair Housing Act prohibits making housing unavailable to people with disabilities and applies to both private and public housing. Buildings with four or more units built in the last 20 years must meet some accessibility requirements. If you think your rights under this law have been abused, you can file a complaint through the local Housing and Urban Development Field Office, 820 1st St., NE, Suite 300, Washington D.C. 20002, 202-275-9200 (voice), 202-275-9212 (fax), 202-275-0772 (TTY).

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