|Local Visitability Initiatives & Policies|
|IDeA Center, University at Buffalo | AARP Public Policy Institute|
|Updated January 2014|
|Location||Year||County||Name of Policy/Initiative||Classification||Types of Homes||Number of Homes Built||Enforcement||Contact Information||Entrance to Home||Interior doors & Accessible Route||Bathrooms||Environmental Controls/Other Features||Citation||Notes|
|Albuquerque, NM||2001-2002||Bernalillo County||The Universal Design Initiative in housing||
|All new homes (Subsidized and unsubsidized)||http://www.cabq.gov/family/documents/udbrochureweb5906.pdf
|Community conversation on need for accessibility in affordable housing began in 2001. The Universal Design Subcommittee created a Universal Design Brochure to show home builders, architects, and consumers how to incorporate Universal Design features into the homes they build. The Universal Design Package (which includes 30 UD features) offers more details and ideas about how to incorporate universal design features in your home. Builders and architects attending orientation and incorporating at least some of the features were included in a brochure. Awards given at annual banquets for homes including UD features. Informational meetings still occur.|
|Alexandria, VA||Alexandria County||Accessibility and Visitability Policy||Advocacy/Advisory||https://www.alexandriava.gov/uploadedFiles/housing/info/DraftImplementationTools20110413.pdf||Encourage production of more accessible and visitable units in new construction and rehabilitation projects for both multi-family and single family projects.|
|Allegheny County||2009||Allegheny County||Residential
Tax Credit Program
|Incentivized (consumer)||Building Entrance – The residence shall provide at least one no-step entrance approachable by a firm, stable and slip-resistant circulation path with an acceptable slope. In entrances with thresholds less than 2 inches, thresholds may be beveled with a maximum slope of 1:2 to comply with this provision. Thresholds may be a maximum of 2 inches high, except in entrances from garages, where they may be a maximum of 4 inches high. In garage entrances with thresholds no greater than 4 inches, thresholds may be beveled with a maximum slope of 1:2 to comply with this provision.||Interior
Doorways – All interior doorways on the visitable floor, excluding closets
and the doorway to floors below the visitable floor, shall have a minimum
clear open width of 32
Interior Circulation Paths – Circulation paths into and throughout the visitable entry level floor of the dwelling must be at least 36 inches wide.
Room and Bathroom Wall Reinforcement – All bathrooms and powder rooms
throughout the residential unit shall have reinforcement of at least 2-inch
by 8-inch blocking between the studs placed inside the walls for easy
installation of grab bars if needed. Reinforcement shall be capable of
supporting grab bars that resist shear and bending forces of a minimum of 250
pounds. Blocking should be centered at 34 inches from and parallel to the
finished floor. Exemption: In renovated homes, only the walls in powder rooms
or bathrooms on the visitable floor and those on floors that have stud walls
exposed as part of the renovation
process need to comply with this subsection. Note that the Wall Reinforcement (blocking) requirement in powder rooms and bathrooms should be verified at the time of the building
inspection when the wall framing is exposed.
Visitable Powder Room – Each housing unit shall have a minimum of 1 powder room or bathroom on the visitable entry-level floor. The powder room must have a 30-inch by 48-inch minimum clear floor space contiguous to the water closet and the lavatory. The clear space under the lavatory can be included in this measurement and clear spaces contiguous to the water closet and lavatory may overlap.
|Light Switches – Light switches may not be higher than 48 inches above the finished floor of the residential unit. If there are two controls for the same light, only one needs to be in compliance with these standards. Exemption: In renovated homes, only the switches on the visitable floor must comply with this subsection, unless the electrical renovations extend beyond the visitable floor.||http://www.alleghenycounty.us/opa/act132.aspx||This program offers tax credits as incentives to new construction or renovation projects that build access for disabled individuals into residential housing. The total amount of the tax credit granted shall be the lesser of $2,500 (over a period of 5 years), or the total amount of all increases in property taxes levied by Allegheny County / City of Pittsburgh as a result of the construction/renovation that is eligible for the Residential Visitability Design Tax Credit.|
|Arvada, CO||2005||Jefferson County||ARTICLE
|Mandatory (all new homes)||All new homes (Subsidized and unsubsidized). 15% of all new dwelling units must be visitable or visitable adaptable; an additional 15% must include interior visitable features.||Visitable dwelling units shall be provided with a step-free or accessible entrance on an accessible route that complies with ANSI A117.1-1998, section 4.8, and that has a maximum slope not to exceed 1:12. The step-free or accessible entrance may be located on the front, side, or rear of the dwelling unit, or may be located through the garage. Adaptable units must be pre-engineered to easily accommodate a step-free or 1-step entrance.||All interior doors on the accessible floor level of such dwelling units, except those serving closets, or serving pantries less than fifteen (15) square feet in area, within individual visitable dwelling units intended for user passage must provide a minimum net clear opening of thirty-two (32) inches when the door is open ninety degrees, as measured between the face of the door and the opposite stop. All interior hallways on the accessible floor level of such dwelling units shall have a minimum width of not less than thirty-six (36) inches (914 mm), be level, and provide ramped or beveled changes at door thresholds. Levered hardware required.||The accessible floor level of such dwelling units shall have a minimum of one (1) bathroom, which bathroom shall, at a minimum, contain a toilet and sink, and be designed and constructed so those with assistive devices can enter and close the door behind them. Walls of the visitable bathroom shall be provided with wood blocking installed flush within wall framing to support grab bars as set forth herein. The wood blocking shall be located between thirty-three (33) inches (839 mm) and thirty-six (36) inches (914 mm) above the finish floor. Height shall be determined by measuring from the finish floor to the center of the wood blocking. The wood blocking shall be located in all walls adjacent to a toilet, shower stall, or bathtub.||PDF Obtained||At least one model home within each qualifying residential development shall be built with a step-free building entrance and all interior visitability features. This model home shall be one of the floor plans identified as appropriate for placement on an identified lot within that development. 7-1206.2. Options list. Interior visitable features and all building entrance construction options, including a step-free entrance, shall be listed on the options list for qualifying residential developments. Opt-out fee: $1,000 per unbuilt unit with interior visitable features; $2,500 per unbuilt visitable or adaptable unit; $10,000 for unbuilt visitable model home. Fee used to assist in making existing housing stock visitable. Requirements do not apply to custom homes as defined by ordinance.|
|Atlanta, GA||1992||City of Atlanta||Atlanta Visitability Ordinance||Mandatory (tied to public funds)||Subsidized: Single family homes tied to public funds Any federal, state, or city financial benefits dispersed through the City||700-1000||Bureau of Buildings||404.330.6150 email@example.com||At least one no-step entrance on accessible route; minimum opening 32 inches.||All interior doors, minimum 32 inch opening and lever handles. 36 inch wide level route provided through main floor of unit||Bathroom walls reinforced||Maximum 48 inch height, minimum 15 inch height.||http://www.concretechange.org/Atlanta.htm||Mandates all builders of new single-family dwellings, duplexes or triplexes, who receive any financial benefit from or through the city, must meet several basic access requirements, including at least one zero-step entrance and adequate interior door widths. Oldest ordinance that requires minimal accessible features; used to help the state of Georgia construct the state accessibility statute.|
|Auburn, NY||2005||Cayuga County||Mandatory (tied to public funds)||Subsidized: All new one to three units homes. Subsidized (city funds)--single-family homes, duplexes and triplexes which are constructed with public funds||Applicable dwelling units shall be designed and constructed to have at least one building entrance on an accessible route served by a ramp or a slope, in compliance with American National Standards Institute (ANSI) standards, with a maximum slope of 1:12, unless it is impractical due to characteristics of the terrain. This entrance should have an accessible door in accordance with ANSI. Any entrance at the front, side or back of the dwelling is acceptable.||All dwelling units, whether or not on an accessible route, shall be designed in such a manner that the doors be sufficiently wide to allow passage into and within all premises by persons in wheelchairs. Lever hardware is required. An accessible route shall be designed and constructed in such manner that a 36” wide level route, except at doors, must be provided through the main floor of the unit with ramped or beveled changes at the thresholds.||Usable first floor bathroom with wheelchair maneuvering clearances as set forth in ICC/ANSI A117.1 – 1998. Reinforcement in the walls be provided at designated locations as specified by the American National Standards Institute (ANSI) for future grab bar installation.||All applicable dwelling units shall be designed and constructed in such a manner that all premises contain light switches, electrical outlets, thermostats and other controls in accessible locations, no higher than 48” and no lower than 16” from the floor. Usable first floor kitchen with wheelchair maneuvering clearance as set forth by the International Code Council (ICC)/ANSI A117.1 – 1998.||PDF Obtained||Applies to new single family homes, duplexes, triplexes built with public funds. Requires at least one no-step entrance on accessible route; minimum opening 32 inches, All interior doors on first floor must be minimum 30 inches opening and lever handles. 36 inch wide level route provided through main floor of unit.|
|Austin, TX||1998, 2014||Travis County||S.M.A.R.T. Housing Policy Resource Guide; Single Family Building Code||Mandatory (all new homes)||New single family homes, duplexes, triplexes||2700 (S.M.A.R.T.)||Stephanie Thomas: firstname.lastname@example.org||At least one no-step entrance on accessible route; minimum opening 32 inches.||All interior doors on first floor, minimum 30 inches opening and lever handles. 36 inch wide level route provided through main floor of unit.||First floor bathroom walls reinforced||For first floor, max 42 inch height, minimum 15 inch height||http://www.concretechange.org/austin.htm
federal government, the Texas Legislature, and the Austin City Council
provide funding and other forms of assistance for reasonably priced housing.
In addition, they have established standards when public funding or
assistance is provided for housing for low- and moderate-income families.
Some of these standards are different than the development and occupancy
standards that an owner or applicant would be required to meet if the
development is funded only with private dollars.
Federal and state requirements provide for people who are mobility-impaired, hearing-impaired, visually impaired, or who have been diagnosed with Acquired Immune Deficiency Syndrome (AIDS) to have access to housing. These regulations are found in the Fair Housing Act, Section 504 of the Rehabilitation Act of 1973, the Americans with Disabilities Act, and the Texas Accessibility Standards and the adopted International Building Code. Please be aware that Federal, State, and City accessibility standards will continue to change.
Multi-family accessibility standards are influenced not only by federal and state requirements, but also the City’s adopted Building Code and its S.M.A.R.T. Housing™ standards. Single-family accessibility standards are outlined in the City’s Visitability standards (Chapter 5-1 of the City Code, Article 3, Division 2).
|Baltimore, MD||2006||Baltimore County||Visitability
Requirements for Publicly
|Mandatory (tied to public funds)||Subsidized||Every dwelling
that is subject to this chapter must provide at least 1 entrance that:
A. Is accessible to, and usable by, a person with a mobility disability
B. Does not include steps
C. Has a level change (including any level change at threshold) that does not exceed ½ inch and, if the level change exceeds ¼ inch, is beveled, and
D. Is located on a continuous unobstructed path that, through the use as necessary or appropriate of curb ramps, parking access aisles, walks, ramps, elevators, lifts, and the like: 1. Connects the lot entrance to the dwelling entrance, and 2. Can be negotiated by a person with a disability who uses a wheelchair, by a person with a disability who does not require use of a wheelchair, and by a person without a disability
for accessible interior:
“ENTRY LEVEL” means every level at which an accessible entrance is provided under
On every entry level of the dwelling, each door designed to allow passage must have an unobstructed opening of at least 32 inches when the door is open at a 90-degree angle
Every entry level of the dwelling must contain at least 1 bathroom that contains: a toilet, a sink, reinforced walls at the toilet to allow for future installation of grab bars, and at least 30-by-48 inches of clear floor space unobstructed by the door swing, so that a person in a wheelchair can enter the room, close the door, use the fixtures, and exit.
On every entry level of the dwelling, environmental control must be located: 1. No higher than 48 inches above the floor and no lower than 15 inches above the floor; and 2. If an environmental control is located directly above a counter, sink, or appliance, no higher than 3 inches above the counter, sink, or appliance.
|Birmingham, AL||2007||Jefferson County||Mandatory (tied to public funds)||Subsidized (city funds). All new single family homes||At least one zero-step entrance on a continuous unobstructed path from the public street or driveway; no slop exceeding 1:12||All doors that are designed to allow passage within the level shall have an unobstructed opening go at least 36 inches when the door is open at a 90 degree angle.||At least one bathroom that contains, at a minimum, clear floor space of 30 by 48 inches centered on an contiguous to the sink; a sink an da toilet that each allow for a parallel or head-on approach by a person in a wheelchair; reinforced walls for grab bars||All environmental controls located on the level shall be located on the wall at least 15 inches, but not more than 48 inches, above the floor||PDF Obtained|
|Bolingbrook, IL||2003||Will County||Visitability Code||Mandatory (all new homes)||All new homes (subsidized and unsubsidized). All new single detached dwelling unit.||Zero-step entry||36 inches minimum for interior doors and 42 inch wide corridors.||Blocking in bathrooms||http://www.concretechange.org/bolingbrook.htm
|Half bath on main floor-- the city is rewriting its building code to require that 10 percent of single-family homes or townhouses in a planned development be visitable and 10 percent be adaptable. There is also 32 inch door clearance on the second floor.|
|Chicago, IL||2003||Cook County||Mandatory (all new homes)||All new homes (subsidized and unsubsidized). 20 percent single family homes and townhomes in planned developments must be "adaptable" or "visitable"||PDF Obtained||Visitable Homes: stair-free entrance, wide doors on first floor, usable bathroom and one room that can be used as bedroom. Adaptable Homes have a stair-free entrance, usable kitchens, bathrooms and wide door on all floors and a shaft or staircase in which a buyer can install a wheelchair lift.|
|Davis, CA||2007||Yolo County||
Advocacy/Advisory (Facilitate inclusion of accessibility and visitability features to the greatest extent possible, including use of incentives)
|100 percent of all new market rate and middle income single-family residential units shall be developed with visitability and all new single-family affordable residential units shall be developed with first floor accessibility (includes bedroom)||Target of 100 percent visitability||Planning Commission and City Council have authority to issue waivers and/or modify the requirements (Housing Policy 1.41)||One zero threshold at ground or primary floor of the unit; An accessible exterior path of travel to the zero threshold entry.||An accessible interior path of travel within the unit on its ground or primary floor (wider hallways and doorways)||An accessible half or full bath on the ground or primary floor (with the inclusion of grab bar backing reinforcements to facilitate easy grab bar installation)||An accessible common room (does not include kitchen) Exempt Projects: Projects consisting of fewer than 5 units; projects with net densities of 12.5 units/acre or greater; projects of 15 units or fewer that are developed within the Core Area. Project to be evaluated in 2010 after it has been applied to a variety of projects. Determine if any modifications should be made including consideration of converting the policy to an ordinance.|
|Housing Rehabilitation Standards||Mandatory||PDF Obtained||Barrier-Free Access or Visitability Improvements when requested by an identified eligible homebuyer or in 20% of the assisted-units in a multi-unit structure with more than four units.|
|Dublin City, CA||2007||Alameda County||Mandatory (all new homes)||All new homes (Subsidized and unsubsidized).||Features included under the ordinance include lower heights for doorbells, behind the wall mounting for installation of grab bars in bathrooms, doorknobs and faucets that don't require a great deal of twisting or force and rocker switches. Home buyers could opt out of the required features by writing a letter to the city.||The universal design ordinance requires developers building more than 20 houses in a given project to install Universal Design features. The ordinance requires the developer to offer a list of optional features to make homes more accessible, such as a zero-step entrance. Items such as this will not be installed unless specifically requested by the buyer.|
|Escanaba, MI||2003||Delta County||The Visitability Ordinance, No. 1024||Incentivized (consumer)||All new homes (Subsidized and unsubsidized).||No-step entry||32 inch clearance on first-floor doors and an accessible route||Bathroom walls reinforced||http://www.escanaba.org/images/11/file/visabord.pdf|
|Fairfax County, VA||2013||Fairfax County, VA||Visitability
and Easy Living Homes are
|Advocacy/Advisory (incentivized)||One zero-step entrance||All interior doors with a minimum of 32 inches (more is better) of clear passage space||At least a half-bath (preferably a full bath) on the main floor||http://www.lexisnexis.com/hottopics/lnacademic/
|$150 rebate from the city to property owners who incorporate these features after a compliance inspection. The Visitability Ordinance, No. 1024|
|Fort Worth, TX||2000||Tarrant, Denton, Johnson, Parker, and Wise counties||Mandatory (tied to public funds)||Subsidized|
|Freehold Borough, NJ||1997||Monmouth County||Incentivized||Public and Private dwellings||Waives construction permit fees for the addition or construction of accessibility features. The ordinance does not explicitly define what qualifies as accessibility features, but the city has shown a willingness to waive fees for commonly recognized features such as ramps. To date, however, the fee waivers have only been applied to rehabilitation of existing homes. The applicability of the ordinance to accessibility features offered in new homes has not been tested because Freehold Borough has very little new construction activity.|
|Fresno, CA||2010||Fresno County||Mandatory (tied to public funds)||Subsidized||PDF Obtained|
|Houston, TX||2004||Harris County||ORDINANCE 2004-0024||Incentivized (builder)||Affordable housing||ORDINANCE 2004-0024: appropriating $200,000.00 out of Low Income Housing Fund 162 and adopting Guidelines to establish a Voluntary Visitability Program to provide incentives to developers of Affordable Housing to Implement the Design Specifications of Ordinance No. 2003-1239 ($400/per home for affordable housing developers who voluntarily make their units wheelchair accessible).|
|Howard County, MD||2001||Howard County||Consumer
|The mission of the Homes For Life Coalition of Howard County is to increase the number of new and renovated homes that are safe, convenient and welcoming to all residents of Howard County. Public education and awareness are the principal means used to accomplish their goal.|
|Iowa City, IA||2002||Johnson County||Mandatory (tied to public funds)||Subsidized. All dwelling units||Housing
Authority City of Iowa City - 410 East Washington Street - Iowa City, IA
||Zero-step entry||32 inch minimum||Bathroom walls reinforced||http://www.concretechange.org/iowa_city.htm|
|Irvine, CA||1999||Orange County||Universal Design Program||Consumer
|New single family homes||* Universal Design Program - Home builders can offer any combination of 33 features to prospective home buyers.||PDF Obtained|
|Knoxville, TN||2008||Knox County||Visitability Study||Advocacy/Advisory||http://web.knoxnews.com/pdf/0218mpc-disabilities.pdf||In
a December 19, 2006, resolution requested by Councilman Rob Frost, City
Council requested MPC to consider modifications to the zoning code to better
assure availability of housing designed to meet the needs of physically
challenged persons by conducting a study to determine the potential and
feasibility of making such modifications.
In response to City Council’s request the following is recommended:
• Do not amend the zoning code to require visitability features in new housing; rather:
• Require visitability features in housing not subject to the Fair Housing Act developed through the City’s Community Development programs when direct assistance is provided through a contractual agreement.
• Include visitability features when completing development agreements that provide indirect public assistance resulting in new housing not subject to the federal Fair Housing Act.
• Create a volunteer certification and marketing program using as a model Georgia’s Easy Living Home program with cooperation between the Knoxville Home Builders Association and the Knoxville Council on Disability Issues.
• Create informative literature that can be placed in the hands of consumers and builders at a variety of points of contact
|Lafayette, CO||2007||Boulder County||Mandatory (all new homes)||All new homes||None yet due to recent passage||Phillip Patterson, Director of Planning and Building 1290 S. Public Road Lafayette, CO 80026 303-665-5588 303-665-2153 fax www.cityoflafayette.com||The visitability components include one zero-step entrance route with a minimum width of 36 inches and maximum slope of 1:12 or 8%.||The visitable doors would allow for a minimum 32 inch clear opening.||Visitable floor levels would require a minimum one-half (1/2) bath with a clear floor area of 30 x 48 inches. Every bathroom, regardless of its location within the structure, would require blocking in the walls for the purposes of installing grab bars next to toilets, bathtubs and showers.||PDF obtained||City Council could accept a cash in-lieu payment by a developer if requested prior to the preliminary plan review. Any cash in-lieu payments would be set aside to assist existing, qualified (as determined by Council) homeowners in retrofitting their homes. The Commission may recommend a waiver of the requirements, specifically the zero-step entrance, subject to excessive slope or other site conditions, or existing property restrictions such as excessive easements.|
|Long Beach, CA||2002||Los Angeles County||Mandatory (tied to public funds)||Subsidized (tied to city funds). All single-family or duplex dwelling units||At least one no-step entrance on accessible route.||32 inch minimum for interior doors and corridors shall be at least 36 inches wide.||Bathroom door opening shall provide a minimum of 32 inches nominal clear space. A 34 inch door is acceptable. A clear space measuring 30 inch by 48 inch and grab bar backing||Maximum 42 inch above the floor inside bathrooms||http://www.millvalepa.com/the-borough/initiatives
|Applies to all single-family or duplex dwelling units built with public funds. At least one no-step entrance on accessible route, and 32 inch minimum for interior doors, and corridors shall be at least 36 inches wide. Bathroom door opening shall provide a minimum of 32 inches nominal clear space.|
|Millvale, PA||Allegheny County||Residential Visitability Design Tax Credit Program||Incentivized (consumer)||This program offers a tax credit as an incentive for new construction or renovation that provides access for disabled individuals into residential housing. The total amount of the tax credit granted shall be the lesser of $2500 (over a period of 5 years) or the total amount of all increases in property taxes levied by Allegheny County as a result of the construction/renovation eligible for the tax credit.|
|Milwaukee, WI||2006||Milwaukee County||Mandatory (tied to public funds)||Subsidized- Recipients of the City’s Housing Trust Fund. New/Substantially rehabilitated multi-family||None yet due to recent passage of fund||Brian Peters [mailto:email@example.com]||Zero-step entrance to homes||Zero-step interior accessible route 32 inches wide||Usable first floor bathroom|
|Monroeville, PA||2006||Allegheny County||Residential Visability Tax Credit Program||Incentivized (consumer)||The dwelling
shall provide at least one no-step entrance approachable by a firm, stable,
and slip resistant path with an acceptable slope, as provided for in this
section. The no-step entrance to the
dwelling may be located on any exterior wall, or may be an entrance to the
visitable level of the dwelling through an integral garage.
All doors located at no-step entrances must have a clear open width of at least 32 inches, and must be equipped with lever opening hardware.
circulation paths on the visitable level of the dwelling must be at least 36
inches in width throughout their length.
All interior doorways on the visitable level of the dwelling, excluding closets and doorways to levels below the visitable level, shall have a minimum clear open width of 32 inches.
dwelling shall, at minimum, have at least one powder room or full bathroom on
the visitable level. The powder room
or bathroom shall, at a minimum have a 30 inch by 48 inch clear floor space
contiguous to the water closet and lavatory.
Any clear space under the lavatory may be included in these
measurements, and clear spaces to the water closet and lavatory may overlap.
Plumbing fixtures and entry doors accessing the visitable powder room or
bathroom shall be equipped with lever-style hardware.
All powder rooms and full bathrooms throughout the dwelling shall have reinforcement of at least two inches by eight inches of blocking between the studs placed inside of the walls in order to facilitate the installation of grab bars, if needed. Reinforcement shall be capable of supporting grab bars that resist shear and bending forces of at least 250 pounds. Blocking should be centered at 34 inches from and parallel to the finished floor.
In renovated homes, only the walls in powder rooms and full bathrooms on the visitable floor(s) and those on floors that have the stud walls exposed as part of the renovation process must be in compliance with the requirements of this section.
switches may not be higher than 48 inches above the finished floor on any
level of the dwelling, only on switch on that level must comply with the
requirements of this section.
For lights that are controlled by multiple switches on the same floor of the dwelling, only one switch on that level must comply with the requirements of this section.
In renovated homes, only the switches on the visitable floor(s) and any floor(s) upon which electrical renovations were done need comply with the requirements of this section.
|Montgomery County, MD||2007||Montgomery County||Design for Life Program||Consumer
|All new homes. Building and renovation in single family attached and detached homes.||At least one entrance shall have a no step entry at the front door, back door, side door (any door), deck or through the garage on an accessible route. The accessible route shall extend from a vehicular drop off, or parking to a no step building entrance. Accessible routes shall consist of one or more of the following components: • Walking surfaces with a slope not steeper than 1:20. • Doorways, ramps, curb ramps, elevators, and wheelchair (platform) lifts. • Floor or ground surfaces shall be stable, firm, and slip resistant.||Dwelling units with a building entrance on an accessible route shall be designed in such a manner that all the doorways designed to allow passage into and within all areas required to be accessible have a clear opening width of at least 32 inches when the door is open 90 degrees, measured between the face of the door and the stop. Openings more than 24 inches in depth are not considered doorways. Dwelling units with a building entrance on an accessible route shall have a circulation path that is at least 36-inches wide. The circulation paths shall connect the accessible entrance to at least one powder room or bathroom, and one other room that can accommodate visitation.||The powder room/bathroom on the circulation path shall be large enough to accommodate a clear space of 30 inches by 48 inches within the room to position a wheelchair or other mobility aid clear of the path of the door as it is closed.||The Design for Life Program also includes guidelines for Live-Ability Homes. Level II — Live-Ability includes all items in Level I, but also requires a circulation path that connects the accessible entrance to at least one bedroom, full bath, and kitchen.||http://www.montgomerycountymd.gov/HHS-Program/Resources/Files/A%26D%20Docs/DFLM/DFLMGuidelinesVoluntaryCertificationProgram09.pdf
to all new home building and renovation in single family attached and
detached homes. At least one entrance shall have a no step entry at the front
door, back door, side door (any door), deck or through the garage on an
accessible route. The accessible route shall extend from a vehicular drop
off, or parking to a no step building entrance. Accessible routes shall
consist of one or more of the following components: • Walking surfaces with a
slope not steeper than 1:20. • Doorways, ramps, curb ramps, elevators, and
wheelchair (platform) lifts. • Floor or ground surfaces shall be stable,
firm, and slip resistant. Dwelling units with a building entrance on an
accessible route shall be designed in such a manner that all the doorways
designed to allow passage into and within all areas required to be accessible
have a clear opening width of at least 32 inches when the door is open 90
degrees, measured between the face of the door and the stop. Openings more
than 24 inches in depth are not considered doorways. Dwelling units with a
building entrance on an accessible route shall have a circulation path that
is at least 36-inches wide. The circulation paths shall connect the
accessible entrance to at least one powder room or bathroom, and one other
room that can accommodate visitation.
|Morgan Hill, CA||2013||Santa Clara County||Housing element of general plan||Advocacy/Advisory||All new homes||25% percent of the dwellings||PDF Obtained||A project providing at least twenty-five percent of the dwellings as visitability accessible units will be awarded one point. Visitability units are accessible dwellings that have one zero-step entrance on an accessible route; all main floor interiors, including bathrooms, with thirty-two inches of clear passage space; and at least a half bath on the main floor usable for a person in a wheelchair.|
|Naperville, IL||2002||Du Page County||Mandatory (all new homes)||All new homes-single family||No Requirements||Wider first floor interior doors||Bathroom walls reinforced||Electrical outlets and light switches that are reachable by someone in a wheelchair||PDF Obtained||Applies to all new single family homes. Requires wider first floor interior doors.|
|Onondaga County, NY||2002||Onondaga County||Advocacy/Advisory||Subsidized (county assistance). New single family homes and duplexes||Zero-step entry||32 inch minimum on first floor. Maneuvering clearance on 1st floor bathrooms and kitchen.||Blocking in Bathroom walls||Lowered controls||PDF Obtained||Applies on a voluntary basis to new single family homes and duplexes built with public funds. Design recommendations include zero-step entry, 32 inch minimum doorways on first floor. Maneuvering clearance on 1st floor bathrooms and kitchen.|
|Philadelphia, PA||2012||Philadelphia County||Advocacy/Advisory||One zero-step entrance to a home approachable by an accessible route.||32” clearances at doorways and 36” wide hallways.||Powder
room (half bath) on the first floor with floor clearance to accommodate
written into Philadelphia’s updated Planning Code (2011)
Visitability for Urban Neighborhoods Design Charente. In partnership with the Community Design Collaborative and OHCD, the Committee held a day-long visitability charrette where architects, designers and others re-imagined the Philadelphia row house in visitable form.
Visitability included in Philadelphia Corporation for Aging’s Laying the Foundation for an Age-friendly Philadelphia, an award-winning agenda to improve the physical and social environments that surround the city’s elders.
Presentations on Visitability at community meetings and to individual groups, including the Building Industry Association (BIA).
|Pima County, AZ (Tucson)||2002||Pima County||Mandatory (all new homes)||All new homes-single family. (Subsidized and Unsubsidized)||15,000 plus visitable homes built; 100 homes needed to be exempted from the zero step entrance because of site conditions or other considerations--less than one per cent.||Bill and Collette Altaffer||Zero-step entry||32 inch minimum for interior doors and 30 inch hallways.||Grab bars||Electrical outlets and light switches that are reachable by someone in a wheelchair. Initial title "Visitability Code" changed to "Inclusive Home Design Ordinance" (See http://www.co.pima.az.us/cob/test/pdf/020502AG.PDF)||http://www.concretechange.org/pimacounty.htm|
|Pine Lake, GA||2007||Mandatory (tied to public funds)||Subsidized.||Zero-step entry; Ordinance limits the threshold on the entrance to no more than a half-inch in height.||32 inch minimum for interior doors and 30 inch hallways.||Grab bars|
|Pittsburgh, PA||2004||Allegheny County||Pittsburgh Visitability Ordinance||Incentivized||Newly constructed or substantially renovated single family dwellings, duplexes, triplexes, town houses and row houses||PDF obtained||Any structure hit with a property tax increase because of disabled-related building improvements will receive up to a $2500 tax credit over five years. The credit is only on city property taxes.|
|Pittsburgh, PA||2008||Allegheny County||Act 132 Residential Visitability Tax Credit Program||Incentivized||Newly constructed or substantially renovated single family dwellings, duplexes, triplexes, town houses and row houses||PDF obtained||
Tax Incentive for new construction or renovation projects that build access for people with disabilities into residential housing
The total amount of the tax credit granted through the program is $2,500 over five years, or the total amount of all increases in property taxes levied as a result of the construction/renovation that is eligible for the credit, whichever is less.
|Prescott Valley, AZ||2005||Yavapai County||Consumer
|Exterior Route - provide for one exterior route that may originate from the carport, driveway, or sidewalk; No-step Entry - provide a door entrance with a minimum width of 32 inches.||Main Pathway - provide a 36-inch wide pathway through ; the main floor of the house that provides for access to all||Bathroom Wall Reinforcement - provide wall reinforcements to support future installation of grab bars adjacent to the tub and toilet.|
|Rochester, NY||2013||Monroe County||2013 Election Disability Issues Survey||Advocacy/Advisory|
|Rockford, IL||2007||Winnebago County||Subsidized (city, state or federal funds)||Subsidized
(city funds)--in new residential structure(s) constructed with public funds
or with financial assistance originating from or flowing through the City of
All new one to three units homes.
|There shall be at least one entrance (front, side, rear, or through the garage) which has no steps and is served by walks and/or ramps meeting the specifications of Section 6-104(B)(1). The required no step entrance shall be accessed via a “visitable” route that shall meet the following criteria. (1) Grade: Sidewalks and ramps that are part of a “visitable” route shall have the maximum slope of-- Ramp Type 1: between 1:8 and 1:10 for a maximum rise of 3 inches. Ramp Type 2: A slope between 1:10 and 1:12 for a maximum of rise of 6 inches. Ramp Type 3: A slope of 1:12 for a maximum rise of 30 inches. A landing shall be located at the top and bottom of any rise of 30 inches. (2) Width: The “visitable” route shall have a minimum width of 36 inches. (3) Landings: Landings in a “visitable” route shall be not less than 36 inches by 36 inches in size.||All doors or openings (with the exception of closet and pantry doors) shall have a minimum net clear width of 32 inches. Corridors shall be at least 36 inches in width.||At least ½ bath shall be required upon the same level as the no step which contains a toilet, bathtub, shower stall, or shower seat, shall have reinforcing in the walls to allow for future installation of grab bars around those fixtures.||Wall electrical outlets, light switches, thermostats and other control devices shall be mounted between 15 inches and 48 inches above the finished floor.||PDF obtained|
|Sacramento, CA||2003||Sacramento County||Consumer
|San Antonio, TX||2002||Bexar County||Mandatory (all new homes)||New single family homes, duplexes, triplexes. Subsidized (city, state or federal funds)||7000+||Zero-step entry||32 inch minimum||Blocking in Bathroom walls||http://www.concretechange.org/sanantoniolink.htm|
|San Mateo County, CA||2001||San Mateo County||Consumer
|At least one no-step entrance. (The location of the no-step entrance is not specific as long as the path of travel to the entrance is accessible.)||A minimum width of 2’8” shall be provided for the no step entry doorway, hallway access to the bathroom and at the bathroom doorway.|
|Santa Monica, CA||2002||Mandatory, Advocacy/Advisory (incentivized)||Requirements
New 1-3 family homes—detached and row houses.
Renovations of single family homes, duplexes, triplexes and townhouses where projected cost is more than 50% of the market value of the home.
|One stepless entrance with a slope no greater than 1:12 and a threshold of no more than ½ inch. This entrance must be on an accessible path that has a firm, even surface such as a concrete sidewalk or a garage floor. It can be located in the front, back or side of the home or through the garage. If the lot cannot be graded with a 1:12 or less slope for the driveway, a steeper driveway is permitted. In these circumstances, the 1:12 or less sloped entrance can proceed from the driveway to the home.||Each
room on the floor served by the stepless entrance, including laundry rooms,
but not including closets or pantries, must be served by at least one door
that provides 32 inches of clear passage space.
A stepless path throughout the floor served by the stepless entrance.
switches and outlets not lower than 18 inches to center, nor higher than 48
inches to center.
Lever handles on doors to all rooms on the floor served by the stepless entrance.
Universal Design items for which a financial benefit may accrue to the home
A. The owner of any new or substantially renovated home, as described above, may receive an additional one-time property tax reduction from the city in cases where the basic access features are required and in place. This applies to the following items and in the following amounts:
1. A second or third stepless entrance with a ½ inch threshold on an accessible path-- $200 per entrance.
2. Blocking in bathroom walls or half-baths on the floor accessed by the stepless entrance near the commode, tub and shower according to ANSI standards (number)-- $25 per bathroom.
3. A stepless shower large enough to be entered and used by a person using a standard size shower wheelchair. The shower must also have controls at a height reachable from a wheelchair and/or shower chair-- $350.
4. Large-print thermostat, oven, dishwasher and clothes washer and dryer controls-- $20 per appliance.
5. A home elevator large enough to carry a person in a wheelchair and one standing person, and which leads from the floor accessed by the stepless entrance to an upper floor of the home-- $700.
6. Walk-in closets vertically arranged in such a way, and large enough to accommodate installation at a later time of the above-described in home elevator--$300.
|Scranton, PA||2005||Lackawanna County||Mandatory (tied to public funds)||Subsidized (city funds)--single-family homes, duplexes and triplexes which are constructed with public funds All new homes-one to three units.||At least one building entrance must be accessible by ramp.||Building entrances, interior doors and hallways must be a minimum of 32 inches wide.||Bathroom walls are to be reinforced to accommodate grab bars,||Light switches, electrical outlets and thermostats must be within reach of wheelchairs.||Taskforce recently published 2 new brochures on accessible housing, one on Universal Design and one on Residential Visitability.|
|Southampton, NY||2002||Suffolk County||Incentivized (builder & consumer)||New one- and two- family detached housing||One step-less entry||32 inch clearance on first-floor doors and 32 inch wide hallways.||1/2 bath on first floor that is wheelchair maneuverable.||A $300 credit is offered for building larger homes that have more expensive permit fees. If builder or homeowner include home modifications to aid persons with impairments, building permits are fast-tracked.|
|Springfield, IL||2007||Mandatory (tied to public funds)||Subsidized||PDF obtained||The
provisions of this chapter shall not apply to:
The construction of any dwelling that is not funded with financial assistance as defined
in this chapter; or
Any building for which a building permit has been issued prior to the date of passage of
this visitability code by the city council; or
Any building for which a building permit has been applied prior to the date of passage of
this visitability code by the city council if a building permit is subsequently issued on the
basis of such application within six months of the date of the original application.
|St. Louis County, MO||2003||St. Louis County||Mandatory (tied to public funds)||County council strongly recommends that St. Louis County incorporate into its construction financing programs a requirement that UD principles and features be utilized in the planning, design and construction of residential development projects that serve low and moderate income households.|
|St. Petersburg, FL||2004||Pinellas County||Mandatory (tied to public funds)||Subsidized . All new one to three units homes.||64
single-family home permits issued so far. (It is assumed that most, if not
all, have been built).
10 additional plans have been submitted for review, but have not received permits yet.
City of St. Petersburg, Community Affairs Department
175 Fifth Street North
St. Petersburg, FL 33701
Phone: 727-892-5507; Fax: 727-892-5064
TDD/TTY: (727) 892-5259
|At least one no-step entrance on an accessible route. (The inclusion of a ramp shall not be required where grading is impractical or when a ramp is not acceptable to the applicant seeking financial assistance from the City.)||32 inch minimum; lever handle hardware is required on all swinging doors along the accessible route. All hallways and passageways on the first floor of the dwelling unit shall be a minimum of 44 inches in width.||Bathroom on the first floor shall be designed to allow sufficient clear floor space for a rectangle measuring 30 inches wide by 48 inches long; reinforcement blocking of bathroom walls.||Light switches, thermostats or electrical panels maximum 48 inches above the floor; electrical outlets shall be at least 15 inches above the floor. Any electrical panel located outside the dwelling unit shall be no higher than 42 inches above the ground, at least 18 inches above the ground and adjacent to an accessible route.||PDF Obtained|
|Suffolk County, NY||2004||Suffolk County||Mandatory||At least one stepless entry shall be provided into a ground-floor dwelling unit, and may be located at the front, rear or side of the building with a threshold not exceeding 1/2 inch in height.||All
interior passage doorways on the ground level of a dwelling unit shall have
an unobstructed opening of at least 34 inches when the door is open at a
To minimize alteration costs for a person with a disability or individuals who desire to age in place, the ground floor of a dwelling unit shall be designed with at least one room which can be converted into a bedroom.
least one bathroom shall be located on the ground level of the dwelling unit,
containing a clear floor space of 30 inches by 48 inches centered on and
contiguous to the sink, which is not encroached by the swing path of the
The required ground-floor bathroom shall have walls that are reinforced with wood blocking between the interior studs, capable of supporting grab bars as follows:
(a) Two reinforcements on the back wall of the bathtub, each at least 24 inches long, at least 20 inches wide and not more than 24 inches from the head end wall and not more than 12 inches from the foot end wall, one in a horizontal position at least 33 inches, but not more than 36 inches, above the floor, and one nine inches above the rim of the bathtub;
(b) One backing reinforcement on the foot end wall of the bathtub, at least 20 inches long, at least 18 inches wide and located at the front edge of the bathtub;
(c) One backing reinforcement on the head end wall of the bathtub, at least 12 inches long, at least 18 inches wide and located at the front edge of the bathtub;
(d) Ground-floor interior shower walls shall include backing reinforcements on at least two walls on which the control valves are not located, each centered at least 33 inches, but not more than 36 inches, above the floor and at least 18 inches wide; and
(e) All walls adjacent to the toilet shall have horizontal backing reinforcements, each at least 33 inches, but not more than 36 inches, above the floor, and sufficient to allow for a twenty-four-inch grab bar on the wall behind the toilet and another forty-two-inch grab bar on one of the other walls adjacent to the toilet.
|Each heating zone in a ground-floor dwelling unit shall contain a thermostat located on the wall at least 15 inches but not more than 48 inches above the floor.||http://ecode360.com/14938080||Component of affordable housing code|
|PDF obtained||An educational DVD shall be available to sales staff and potential homebuyers regarding the benefits of visitability.|
|Syracuse, NY||2003||Onondaga County||Consumer
|New single family homes||Including but not limited to the utilization of 36 inch wide doors at entrances and throughout the first floor||Policy
makes referrals to ICC/ANSI standards and encourages development of homes
built to meet these standards. The
Visitability guideline in Syracuse does not require visitability, not because
of state law, but because the County Council did not pass an ordinance - just
|Toledo, OH||2005||Lucas County||Mandatory (tied to public funds)||Subsidized. All new one to three units homes.||Provide at least one no step entrance. The required no step entrance shall be accessed via a visitable route.||All doors and openings shall have a minimum net clear width of 32 inches. All hallways and corridors on the main floor shall be at least 36 inches in width.||Provide a bathroom or half bath on the main floor with clear floor space of 30 inches wide by 48 inches long. All walls in the required bathroom/half bath shall have reinforcing/backing in the walls to allow for future installation of grab bars.||Wall electrical outlets on the main floor shall be mounted at least 15 inches above the finished floor. Light switches, thermostats and other control devices on the main floor shall be mounted no higher than 48 inches above the finished floor.||http://ci.toledo.oh.us/index.cfm?Article=1311|
|Tucson, AZ||2008||Mandatory (all new homes)||All new homes (Subsidized and Unsubsidized)-new single family homes.||Zero-step entry; Ordinance limits the threshold on the entrance to no more than a half-inch in height||32 inch minimum for interior doors and 30 inch hallways.||Grab bars|
|Urbana, IL||2000||Champaign County||Mandatory (tied to public funds)||Subsidized new single family dwellings or 1 to 4 units, duplexes and triplexes||Approximately 24 homes||Building Safety Division||Gordon Skinner Building Safety Division Manager 400 S. Vine, Urbana, Il. 61801 (217) 384-2431 firstname.lastname@example.org||At least one no-step entrance on accessible route; minimum opening 32 inches||All doors or openings minimum 32 inches. Corridors shall be at least 36 inches wide.||Bathroom walls reinforced||Maximum 48 inch height, minimum 15 inch height. Additional requirements for accessible route to the home regarding landing, non-slip surfaces, and slope.||http://www.concretechange.org/urbana.htm||Handicapped Accessibility Retrofit Program (HARP) provides grants to help fund the elimination of barriers and the addition of accessibility modifications|
|Visalia, CA||2001||Tulare County||Consumer
|New single family homes||Zero-step entry, usually through the garage. A maximum of 1 inch threshold at this entrance.||32 inch minimum; lever handles||Bathroom walls reinforced||Voluntary "Visitable Home Program" and Guidelines. Builders receive a "Certified Visit-Able logo"|
|Westport, MA||Noquochoke Overlay District||Mandatory||http://westport-ma.com/news/docs/Zoning%20By-Laws%202011%20%28as%20of%20Jan%2011,%202012%29.pdf||The Town of
Westport's (MA) Noquochoke Overlay
District (NOD) is a bylaw that includes a Social Sustainability,
Accessibility and Visitability provision. The bylaw was approved at the 2009
Town Meeting. The bylaw and district were created for publically owned land
that then became the subject of a request for proposal (RFP) to developers.
According to the bylaw, "Social sustainability is design that
acknowledges that a person’s abilities may change over his or her lifetime
and allows their home and neighborhood to accommodate the changing
needs." The components of the bylaw were developed to enable people to
fully participate in community life, in the homes they visit and in the
public spaces surrounding these homes. The provision requires that a minimum
of 30 percent of the total dwelling units in the development must be
Visitable, by including a zero-step entrance, doorways (both interior and
exterior) with at least 32 inches of clear width and at least a half bath on
the main floor of the home. As a result of the RFP process, a 50-unit
development in the NOD is currently under review by the Affordable Housing
Trust for the Town of Westport.
|Woodlawn, CA||Mandatory||PDF obtained||Builders
of for-sale projects shall comply with applicable state and federal
regarding accessible design features for persons with disabilities. Homebuyers of
affordable units shall be offered "universal design" or "visitability" features to be
incorporated into the construction of the unit by the builder. Such modifications shall be
paid for by the homebuyer, independent of and in addition to the amount calculated as
the affordable purchase price of the unit. Information on "universal design" and
"visitability" building features is available from the community development department