1.A.2.d. Legal compliance


A statement attesting to compliance with nondiscriminatory state and federal requirements.






This rule applies to all recovery residence levels of support.


This rule is ambiguously written, meaning that it can be interpreted in two different ways. Many assume that it is directly referencing civil rights laws that prevent individuals from being discriminated against based on one or more protected classes: race, color, national origin, religion, gender, family status or disability. While civil rights laws fall under this rule, the rule could have been more clearly written as “A statement attesting to compliance with state and federal laws with the exception of laws that cause discrimination against residents.” Historically, stigma has pressured policymakers to pass laws that discriminate against persons with substance use issues. An accredited recovery residences would NOT be expected to comply with a current or future law, if that law causes discrimination against its residents. Laws change across time, and NARR specifically excluded compliance to laws that would cause discrimination against residents to prevent the Standard from being misused against the population it is meant to protect and serve.

Frequently Asked Questions:

  • What is an example of a law that would cause discrimination against a resident? Under “not in my backyard” (NIMBY) political pressure, some state governments, local governments and Homeowner Associations (HOAs) have either established requirements that directly or indirectly cause discrimination against person living in recovery housing and/or enforced facially neutral requirements on housing for person in recovery in a discriminatory.

  • What should a provider do if they have identified a law that would have a discriminator impact or effect on their residents or existence?

    • From an accreditation perspective, they should submit a reasonable accommodation to this rule as part of the accreditation or re-accreditation process, specifically naming the law in question and how it would cause discrimination. This would allow them to attest to compliance with applicable laws except for the law listed in the reasonable accommodation.

    • From an advocacy perspective, they should work with their NARR affiliate and stakeholders to educate lawmakers on how to address the discriminatory issue.

  • How can a provider attest to complying with laws if they “do not know what they do not know”? Ignorance of the law is not a defense. While an Affiliate can help educate recovery residences, they do not provide legal advice. It is the recovery residence’s responsibility to uphold the relevant laws.

  • Does accreditation or certification mean that an Affiliate guarantees that a recovery residence provider has upheld, is upholding or will uphold all applicable laws or requirements? No. Accreditation or certification means that a provider has attested to meeting relevant requirements currently and overtime. However, an Affiliate should do due diligence and preserve the integrity of the accreditation or certification.

  • Could an Affiliate request additional documentation from a recovery residences that above and beyond the “We are in compliance” attestation? Yes. Supplemental documentation could include, but is not limited to, a policy and procedure that addresses who in the organization is responsible (e.g. compliance officer) for identifying what state and federal requirements (e.g. laws) are applicable and how the provider is going to uphold those requirements.

  • What if the Affiliate believes that a provider’s compliance affidavit is inaccurate?

    • The certification process is meant to be strength-based, meaning the Affiliate should first educate the provider on potentially relevant laws and requirements. The Affiliate can partner with organizations that have the subject matter expertise on various laws and requirements.

    • The Affiliate can ask an applicant to revisit a compliance affidavit, highlighting any areas of concern. Informational resources and self assessments may also be helpful.

    • The Affiliate could request a letter from the provider’s legal council confirming their position, if they engaged one.

    • An Affiliate could ask relevant authorities to provide general guidance, which can be used as a future informational resource for all providers. For example, if the concern is around services provided requiring the facility to be licensed, then you could contact the licensing entity to gain clarity or educational resources.

    • An Affiliate can partner with appropriate authorities, who have the expertise to make rulings, to develop educational materials or provide guidance based on hypothetical scenarios. The certification process is meant to be informative and strength-based, but their higher purpose is to protect residents. Affiliates must use their best judgment on a case-by-case basis.

Related topics

While the NARR standard does not explicitly require the following, it would be difficult for a recovery residence to consistently uphold various laws without policies and procedures addressing them. As a best practice, a recovery residence should have policies and procedures regarding:

  • Conflicts of interest
  • Reasonable accommodations
  • Reasonable modifications


  • Has the recovery residence applicant completed a self assessment that highlights potentially relevant laws?

  • Has the administrator completed a training on recovery housing and the law?
  • Does the recovery residence provider attest to complying with state and federal requirements (e.g. laws)? Note: “attest” means to declare that something exists, as in an affidavit or signed statement.

  • Is are there policies and procedures that address:
    • Compliance
    • Conflicts of interest
    • Reasonable accommodations
    • Reasonable modifications
  • Is there conflicting information that would lead you to believe that the compliance attestation is misinformed, uninformed or inaccurate?


  • Policy and procedure: compliance, conflicts of interest, reasonable accommodation, reasonable modification

  • Affidavit of Compliance – Administrator attests to complying with laws and other requirements.

  • Self assessment and/or certificate of completion for training that covered recovery housing and the law


Course Syllabus

Not Enrolled
1.A. Operate with Integrity
1.A.1. Use mission and vision as guides for decision making
1.A.1.a. Mission
1.A.1.b. Vision
1.A.2. Adhere to legal and ethical codes and use best business practices
1.A.2.a. Business entity
1.A.2.b. Insurance
1.A.2.c. Property permission
1.A.2.d. Legal compliance
1.A.2.e. Ethical marketing
1.A.2.f. Background checks
1.A.2.g. Paying residents
1.A.2.h. Financial boundaries
1.A.2.i. Code of Ethics
1.A.3. Financial accounting
1.A.3.a. Fee transparency
1.A.3.b. Accounting system
1.A.3.c. Refund policies
1.A.3.d. 3rd party payments
1.A.4. Data collection
1.A.4.a. Resident information
1.B. Uphold Residents’ Rights
1.B.5. Rights and Requirements
1.B.5.a. Applicant orientation
1.B.6. Resident information
1.B.6.a. Secured records
1.B.6.b. Confidentiality
1.B.6.c. Social media policy
1.C. Culture of Empowerment
1.C.7. Peer governance
1.C.7.a. Resident driven
1.C.7.b. Grievance policy
1.C.7.c. Community posts
1.C.7.d. Length of stay
1.C.7.e. Resident voice
1.C.8. Resident involvement
1.C.8.a. Reciprocal responsibility
1.C.8.b. Leadership roles
1.C.8.c. Recovery process
1.D. Develop Staff Abilities
1.D.9. Role modeling
1.D.9.a. Self-care
1.D.9.b. Boundaries
1.D.9.c. Staff support
1.D.9.d. Positive regard
1.D.10. Staff qualifications
1.D.10.a. Social model skills
1.D.10.b. Credentials
1.D.10.c. Staff development
1.D.11. Culturally responsive
1.D.11.a. Priority population
1.D.11.b. Cultural training
1.D.12. Job descriptions
1.D.12.a. Roles and qualifications
1.D.12.b. Resource linkage
1.D.12.c. KSA
1.D.13. Staff supervision
1.D.13.a. Performance development
1.D.13.b. Acknowledgements
1.D.13.c. Work environment
2.E. Home-like Environment
2.E.14. Individual needs
2.E.14.a. Clean and maintained
2.E.14.b. Home-like furnishings
2.E.14.c. Entrances and exits
2.E.14.d. 50+ sq. ft. per bed
2.E.14.e. Sink-toilet-shower
2.E.14.f. Personal storage
2.E.14.g. Food Storage
2.E.14.h. Laundry
2.E.14.i. Appliances
2.E.15. Community building
2.E.15.a. Meeting space
2.E.15.b. Group space
2.E.15.c. Dining area
2.E.15.d. Recreational area
2.F. Safe Healthy Environment
2.F.16. Sober living
2.F.16.a. Prohibited substances
2.F.16.b. Prohibited items
2.F.16.c. Drug screening
2.F.16.d. Medication storage
2.F.16.e. Peer accountability
2.F.17. Home safety
2.F.17.a. Functional and hazard free
2.F.17.b. Health & safety codes
2.F.17.c. Inspections & drills
2.F.18. Promote health
2.F.18.a. Smoking
2.F.18.b. Universal precautions
2.F.19. Emergency plan
2.F.19.a. Procedures & postings
2.F.19.b. Emergency contacts
2.F.19.c. Emergency orientation
2.F.19.d. Overdose readiness
3.G. Facilitate Recovery
3.G.20. Promote purpose
3.G.20.a. Meaningful activities
3.G.21. Recovery planning
3.G.21.a. Person-centered plan
3.G.21.b. Recovery capital
3.G.21.c. Peer roles
3.G.22. Community supports
3.G.22.a. Resource directory
3.G.22.b. Resource linkage
3.G.23. Mutual support
3.G.23.a. Weekly schedule
3.G.23.b. Mutual aid
3.G.24. Recovery support services
3.G.24.a. RSS
3.G.24.b. RSS Staff
3.G.25. Clinical services
3.G.25.a. Clinical services
3.H. Model Prosocial Behaviors
3.H.26. Respectful environment
3.H.26.a. Model recovery
3.H.26.b. Trauma informed
3.H.26.c. Resident input
3.I. Sense of Community
3.I.27. Family-like
3.I.27.a. Food preparation
3.I.27.b. Housing choice
3.I.27.c. Chores
3.I.27.d. Household expenses
3.I.27.e. Household meetings
3.I.27.f. Common areas
3.I.28. Internal community
3.I.28.a. Informal activities
3.I.28.b. Formal activities
3.I.28.c. Social activities
3.I.28.d. Milestone rituals
3.I.29. External community
3.I.29.a. Recovery linkage
3.I.29.b. Recovery mentor
3.I.29.c. Mutual aid meetings
3.I.29.d. Resource linkage
3.I.29.e. Multi-membership
3.I.29.f. Social bonds
4.J. Be a Good Neighbor
4.J.30. Responsive neighbor
4.J.30.a. Contact information
4.J.30.b. Complaint response
4.J.30.c. Neighbor interaction
4.J.31. Courtesy rules
4.J.31.a. Preemptive policies
4.J.31.b. Parking