White Paper

4 Pages
  • 4 Pages

Rational & Legal Local Zoning Under the Fair Housing Act for Residences for People With Disabilities


What zoning protections are available for community residences?

People with substantial disabilities often need to live where they receive staff support to engage in the everyday life activities most of us take for granted. These sorts of living arrangements – group homes, recovery residences, and small halfway houses – fall under the broad rubric “community residence.” This white paper reviews the guiding principles of this type of residence and discusses the differences between community residences, institutional uses, and rooming or boarding houses.



Daniel Lauber, AICP

Daniel Lauber, AICP

Law Office of Daniel Lauber

  • Law Office of Daniel Lauber
  • Practice focused on land use law, fair housing, zoning for community residences for people with disabilities, conducting analyses of impediments to fair housing choice
  • Author of model zoning guidelines for community residences for the American Bar Association and American Planning Association
  • Author of “A Real LULU: Zoning for Group Homes and Halfway Houses Under the Fair Housing Amendments Act of 1988,” in The John Marshall Law Review, Winter 1996, pp. 369–407; analyses of impediments to fair housing choice for the District of Columbia; Fairfax County, VA; Clark County, NV; Naperville, IL; Houston, TX (partial), and many more
  • Principle author of the American Planning Association’s Amicus Curiae Brief for the prevailing side in City of Edmonds v. Washington State Building Code Council, 514 U.S. 725 (1995)
  • Author of zoning amendments governing community residences in Prescott, AZ; Delray Beach, Pompano Beach, Fort Lauderdale, FL; Clark County, NV; and numerous other cities and counties
  • Expert witness in group home zoning cases for the U.S. Department of Justice and numerous group home operators
  • Principal Contributing Consultant to the American Bar Association Advisory Commission on Housing and Urban Growth
  • J.D. degree, Northwestern University School of Law; Master's of Urban Planning, University of Illinois-Urbana; B.A. degree in sociology, University of Chicago
  • Memberships: ABA, Committee on Regulation of Land Use, Chair of the Group Home and Congregate Living Subcommittee; Chicago Bar Association, American Institute of Certified Planners (president 1992-1994, 2002-2005), American Planning Association (president 1985-1986), National Low Income Housing Coalition, Planners Network; American Association on Mental Retardation, Region VI Executive Committee and Legal Advocacy Vice Chair
  • Received an award from the American Planning Association in each of the past four decades
  • Can be contacted at http://www.grouphomes.law, email: [email protected] or 708-366-5200

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