45 Years of Impact Spotlight
Ensuring Accessible Public Housing
We filed Three Rivers Center for Independent Living v. Housing Auth. of City of Pittsburgh in 2002, a class action lawsuit alleging that the Housing Authority violated Section 504 of the Rehabilitation Act by failing to ensure that its public housing program as a whole was accessible to individuals with disabilities. Although the District Court and Court of Appeals held that our client could not enforce HUD’s Rehabilitation Act regulations, which required that five percent of all newly constructed and altered public housing must be accessible to people with disabilities, it permitted our client to proceed with its broader, statutory challenge. In 2006, after the appellate court’s decision, the parties reached a settlement agreement that resulted in the accessibility of approximately seven percent of the Housing Authority’s public housing units (five percent of units in family communities and ten percent in senior communities, mixed income communities, and newly constructed units).