The following provides information on the housing accessibility requirements
for both private and Federally assisted housing.
Accessibility Requirements for Multifamily Housing: Both privately
owned and publicly assisted housing, regardless of whether they are rental or
for sale units, must meet the accessibility requirements of the Fair Housing Act
when they are located in a building of four or more units, built for first occupancy
after March 13, 1991. To help builders comply with these requirements, HUD issued
in 1991 its Fair
Housing Act Accessibility Guidelines. In 1994, the Department responded to
questions on the Guidelines by issuing a Question
and Answer Supplement to the Guidelines. In 1996, HUD provided further guidance
on ways to design and construct housing that complies with the Fair Housing Act
by issuing the Fair
Housing Act Design Manual, which is filled with detailed illustrations and
sample room designs. HUD has designated the Fair Housing Act Accessibility Guidelines,
when used in conjunction with the Question and Answer Supplement, the Fair Housing
Act Design Manual, and five other documents as safe harbors for compliance with
the Fair Housing Act accessibility requirements. For more information on the requirements
and the seven safe harbors for compliance, visit Fair
Housing Accessibility, FIRST.
Accessibility Requirements for Federally Assisted Housing: All Federally
assisted new construction housing developments with 5 or more units must design
and construct 5 percent of the dwelling units, or at least one unit, whichever
is greater, to be accessible for persons with mobility disabilities. These units
must be constructed in accordance with the Uniform
Federal Accessibility Standards (UFAS) or a standard that is equivalent or
stricter. An additional 2 percent of the dwelling units, or at least one unit,
whichever is greater, must be accessible for persons with hearing or visual disabilities.
For more information on the accessibility requirements for Federally assisted
new construction and substantial alterations of existing Federally assisted housing,
see Section 504: Disability Rights in HUD
Americans with Disabilities Act of 1990 (ADA): The ADA primarily deals
with accessibility of public facilities such as restaurants, hotels, and parks.
With respect to housing accessibility, Title II of the ADA covers housing provided
by public entities (state and local governments), such as housing on a State university
campus. Title III requires that public and common use areas at housing developments
are accessible. Please visit the Department
of Justice ADA home page for more information on the ADA.
provides information on the obligation of HUD programs to comply with applicable
accessibility requirements, as well as information on government resources for
funding building modifications.
- Community Planning and Development Notice: Affirmatively Further Fair
Housing and the Accessibility Requirements of the Fair Housing Act