SELF-HELP HOMEOWNERSHIPOPPORTUNITIES PROGRAM HOUSING ACCESSIBILITY & VISITABILITY
HOUSING ACCESSBILITY • WHAT IS HOUSING ACCESSIBILITY? • WHY SHOULD SHOP PROGRAM SPONSORS & PARTICIPATING FAMILIES CARE ABOUT ACCESSIBILITY /VISITABILITY? • WHAT ARE THE MAJOR LAWS THAT ESTABLISH ACCESSIBILITY REQUIREMENTS? • WHERE DO I FIND COMMON ACCESSIBILITY STANDARDS & OTHER RESOURCE MATERIALS?
ACCESSIBILITY: An area, building space or home that may be approached, entered, and used by individuals with physical disabilities.
ACCESSIBLE ROUTE: A continuous, unobstructed path connecting accessible elements and spaces in a building or within a site that can be negotiated by a person with a severe disability using a wheelchair & which is also usable and safe for people with other disabilities.
ADAPTABLE DWELLING UNITS: Adaptable design allows some features of a dwelling to be changed to meet the needs of a person with a disability. Essential design elements are included as integral features, while provisions are made to allow other features to be added as needed. To qualify as "adaptable," it must be possible for changes to be made quickly without the use of skilled labor and without changing the inherent structure or materials.
VISITABILITY: A home where it is possible for a disabled person to visit a friend and enjoy a meal without having to be lifted up a step or being unable to get through the doorway. Such homes are ramped or provide at least one level access at grade and a 32” wide clear passage space and interior pathway.
WHY SHOULD YOU CARE ABOUT ACCESSIBILITY / VISITABILITY? • Single-Family Homes are generally not subject to accessibility / visitability laws… • However…
As housing providers, you should be familiar with accessibility issues. • Sponsor agencies may not discriminate against disabled persons in the operation of a federally-funded sweat-equity homeownership program. • Should have one or more accessible floor plans and home designs. • Should be ready to offer alternatives or variations on the sweat-equity requirements.
Homes with accessibility and visitability features are sought not only by disabled persons, but also by aging members of our communities. • Much work is being done to promote the concept of “universal design” housing…homes that are accessible, attractive, and affordable. Such housing may become a valuable asset and increasingly marketable as time passes.
ARCHITECTURAL BARRIERS ACT OF 1968 • Applies to anything designed, constructed, altered or leased by or on behalf of the United States. • The Act looks like a civil rights statute, but basically calls for a set of federal government building standards. • The standard for compliance is the federal accessibilitystandards of 1984 (or the ADA guidelines).
REHABILITATION ACT OF 1973 • Best known for its Section 504 • Provides that no otherwise qualified individual with a disability may be discriminated against in any program or activity receiving federal financial assistance. Seeks to eliminate discriminatory behavior & provide physical accessibility. • HUD’s Section 504 regulation is in 24 CFR, Pt 8. • Applies the Uniform Federal Accessibility Standards (UFAS) as design standard.
FAIR HOUSING AMENDMENTS ACT OF 1988 • Applies to multi-family housing with four or more dwelling units. • It is primarily a new construction requirement, applying only to housing built after 3/13/91. • Covered housing may be owned privately or by local, state, or federal government. (Cont.)
HUD is the enforcement agency for the Fair Housing Act (and ultimately the Justice Department if the complaint goes to litigation). • HUD uses ANSI A117.1 (1998 version) as the basic guideline for compliance [American National Standards Institute]. • HUD also recognizes 6 other “safe harbors” for compliance with the Fair Housing Act’s requirements. [If you follow those provisions, you can assume that you are in compliance with the Act.] (Cont.)
Fair Housing Act “Safe Harbors” include: • HUD Fair Housing Act Design Manual (1996/98) • HUD 3/6/91Fair Housing Accessibility Guidelines & 6/28/94 Supplemental Notice • CABO/ANSI A117.1-1992 • ICC/ANSI A117.1-1998 • Code Requirements for Housing Accessibility 2000 (CRHA) [Approved by International Code Council 10/20] • International Building Code 2000 (IBC) as amended in 2001
AMERICANS WITH DISABILITIES ACT OF 1990 • ADA Title II covers all state & local government services, programs & activities; It provides them a choice of standards for new construction and alteration: • Either ADA Accessibility Standards, or • The older Uniform Federal Accessibility Standards (UFAS) • ADA does not have specific technical requirements for dwelling units [except transient lodging for hotels] (Cont.)
ADA Title III covers privately-owned commercial facilities and places of public accommodation. • Title III does not cover privately-owned residential facilities. • ADA accessibility standards are enforced by the Department of Justice.
WHAT IS ANSI A117.1? • ANSI stands for American National Standards Institute. • The A117.1 document is basically a consensus document put together by people representing state building codes, people in the construction industry, and people representing persons with disabilities. It is a technical document that describes how to comply with accessibility standards. • Most state and local building codes reflect this document.
REMINDER ON DISABILITIES: • When we think of accessibility or visitability, we most often think of its impact on those who are wheelchair-bound. However, when we consider accessibility designs, we must also think in terms of other kinds of disabilities:
Ambulatory Mobility Disabilities • May be able to walk with the help of a walker, crutches, cane, braces, artificial limbs, etc. • May Include those with arthritis, rheumatism, heart disease. • May include those with temporary disabilities (broken bones, surgery, etc.) • Consider same accommodations and designs as for wheelchairs.
Visual Disabilities • Consider use of light/dark, contrasting colors, optimum lighting, textures; provide for service animal • Hearing Disabilities • Consider good lighting in support of sign language & lip reading; provide visual alarms & alerting systems • Cognitive Disabilities • Consider clear & simple signage
IN SUMMARY… • As we operate our SHOP programs, we can benefit our client families and our communities by promoting the use of universal designs with features usable by persons with a broad range of needs and by eliminating unintentional barriers . • The most common barriers that we can address include narrow doorways, lack of adequate lighting, fixtures and controls placed too low or too high, lack of handrails, and steps at entrances.
We can thereby increase accessibility for persons with physical limitations and provide flexibility necessary to add features such as lifts, ramps, and handrails if desired at a later date. • This flexibility can increase a home's marketability, particularly to elderly persons and those with physical limitations. This market will become increasingly important over the next 30 years, as the share of the U.S. population over 65 increases from the current 12 percent to more than 20 percent.
RESOURCE MATERIALS • SEE HANDOUT FOR LISTING OF REFERENCE MATERIALS AND INTERNET LINKS REGARDING ACCESSIBILITY ISSUES.