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D.C. Agrees To Make Homeless Shelters More Accessible

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The Justice Department has reached a settlement with the D.C. government that requires the city to make homeless shelters more accessible to people with disabilities.

Under the agreement reached Friday, D.C. must improve oversight of contractors who manage shelters and develop a plan to ensure that homeless people with disabilities can access shelters, among other requirements.

District officials estimate the overall plan would cost be between $4 and $5 million. A 2008 survey by a contractor found that 23 percent of the city's homeless are physically disabled, 19 percent have a mental illness and 2 percent are living with HIV or AIDS. Justice Department officials say they investigated the shelter program after receiving complaints that the city was violating the Americans with Disabilities Act.

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