*NOTE: This section includes amendments by emergency legislation that will expire on June 10, 2021. To view the text of this section after the expiration of all emergency and temporary legislation, click this link: Permanent Version.*
(a) Clients served within the Continuum of Care shall have the right to:
(1) At all times, be treated by providers and the Department with dignity and respect;
(2) Access services within the Continuum of Care free from discrimination on the basis of race, color, religion, national origin, language, culture, sex, age, marital status, personal appearance, sexual orientation, gender identity or expression, familial status, family responsibilities, matriculation, political affiliation, disability, and source of income, and in accordance with Unit A of Chapter 14 of Title 2, the Americans with Disabilities Act of 1990, approved July 26, 1990 (104 Stat. 328; 42 U.S.C. § 12101 et seq.), the Rehabilitation Act of 1973, approved August 7, 1998 (112 Stat. 1095; 29 U.S.C. § 701 et seq.), Title II of the Civil Rights Act of 1964, approved July 2, 1964 (78 Stat. 243; 42 U.S.C. § 2000a et seq.), and subchapter II of Chapter 19 of Title 2 [§ 2-1931 et seq.];
(3) Receive reasonable modifications to policies, practices, or procedures when the modifications are necessary to avoid discrimination on the basis of disability, unless the client’s provider demonstrates that the modifications would fundamentally alter the nature of the services;
(4) Access services within the Continuum of Care free from verbal, emotional, sexual, financial, and physical abuse and exploitation;
(5) Shelter in severe weather conditions;
(6) At a reasonable time and with reasonable prior notice, view and copy, or have an authorized representative view and copy, all records and information that are related to the client and maintained by the client’s provider, including any relevant personal, social, legal, financial, educational, and medical records and information, subject to the provisions of paragraph (7) of this subsection;
(7) Confidential treatment by the Department and providers of personal, social, legal, financial, educational, and medical records and information related to a client or any member of a client’s family, whether obtained from the client or from any other source, in a manner consistent with the confidentiality requirements of District and federal law;
(8) Engage in or abstain from the practice of religion, including the religion of a particular provider or other clients;
(9) Upon request, be told the name and job title of any provider staff member delivering services;
(10) Provide input and feedback to providers on their delivery of services;
(11) File complaints with, testify before, or provide information to a provider or the Mayor regarding the provider’s delivery of services or treatment of the client;
(12) Participate in developing the client's service or case management plan, assess progress toward the goals of the plan, and review or update the plan on a regular basis (as specified by Program Rules established pursuant to § 4-754.32), with the assistance and support of a case manager;
(13) Be free from testing for drugs or alcohol except when:
(A) Program guidelines prohibit intoxication and a licensed social worker or licensed professional counselor with experience identifying indications of drug or alcohol use or a certified addiction counselor determines that there is reasonable cause to believe that the client is engaging in drug or alcohol use; or
(B) A client consents to drug or alcohol testing as part of the client’s case management plan developed in accordance with paragraph (12) of this subsection;
(14) Meet and communicate privately with attorneys, advocates, clergy, physicians, and other professionals; except, that the Mayor may waive the requirements of this provision for in-person meetings and communications during a public health emergency declared pursuant to § 7-2304.01;
(15) Timely notice, where required by § 4-754.33, of any decision by the Department or a provider that adversely affects the client’s receipt of services within the Continuum of Care;
(17) Be free from retaliation, punishment, or sanction for exercising any rights provided under this chapter;
(18) Continuation of shelter or housing services provided within the Continuum of Care without change, other than transfer pursuant to § 4-754.34 or emergency transfer, suspension, or termination pursuant to § 4-754.38, pending the outcome of any fair hearing requested within 15 calendar days of receipt of written notice of a suspension or termination;
(19) Be treated in all ways in accordance with the individual’s gender identity and expression, including:
(A) Use of gender-specific facilities including restrooms, showers, and locker rooms;
(B) Being addressed in accordance with the individual’s gender identity and expression;
(C) Having documentation reflect the individual’s gender identity and expression;
(D) Being free from dress codes that are in conflict with the individual’s gender identity and expression;
(E) Confidentiality of information regarding the individual’s gender identity and expression; and
(F) Being free from discrimination in the provision of health care and mental health services related to the individual’s gender identity and expression;
(20) Continuation of a family’s interim eligibility placement, pending the outcome of a fair hearing requested pursuant to § 4-754.41, if the family requests a fair hearing within 48 hours or before the close of the next business day, whichever occurs later, following receipt of written notice provided pursuant to § 4-754.33(b-1) of a denial of an application for shelter following an interim eligibility placement; and
(21) Associate and assemble peacefully with each other, during reasonable hours as established according to the Program Rules.
(Oct. 22, 2005, D.C. Law 16-35, § 9, 52 DCR 8113; Mar. 14, 2007, D.C. Law 16-296, § 2(g), 54 DCR 1097; June 25, 2008, D.C. Law 17-177, § 7(b), 55 DCR 3696; May 3, 2014, D.C. Law 20-100, § 2(f), 61 DCR 1873; Mar. 11, 2015, D.C. Law 20-212, § 2(c), 61 DCR 13077; Feb. 27, 2016, D.C. Law 21-75, §§ 2(d), 3, 63 DCR 257; Feb. 28, 2018, D.C. Law 22-65, § 2(o), 65 DCR 331; Mar. 17, 2021, D.C. Act 24-30, § 502(b), 68 DCR 003101.)
Effect of Amendments
D.C. Law 16-296, in par. (11), inserted “testify before, or provide information to” following “File complaints with”.
D.C. Law 17-177, in par. (2), substituted “sexual orientation, gender identity or expression” for “sexual orientation”.
The 2014 amendment by D.C. Law 20-100 added (19) and made related changes.
The 2015 amendment by D.C. Law 20-212 would have redesignated the existing text as subsection (a); would have substituted “All clients served within the Continuum of Care” for “Clients served within the Continuum of Care” in (a); and would have added (b).
Applicability of D.C. Law 20-212: Section 3 of D.C. Law 20-212 provided that the act shall apply upon the inclusion of its fiscal effect in an approved budget and financial plan, as certified by the Chief Financial Officer to the Budget Director of the Council in a certification published by the Council in the District of Columbia Register.
For temporary (90 days) amendment of this section, see § 2(d) of the Interim Eligibility and Minimum Shelter Standards Emergency Amendment Act of 2015 (D.C. Act 21-217, Nov. 30, 2015, 62 DCR 15648).
For temporary (90 days) amendment of this section, see §§ 2(d) and 3 of the Interim Eligibility and Minimum Shelter Standards Congressional Review Emergency Amendment Act of 2016 (D.C. Act 21-326, Mar. 3, 2016, 63 DCR 3658).