The Fair Housing Act requires that any multi-family project be made accessible to the disabled community. Therefore the owner of a multi-famly property cannot discriminate against a family or individual who is disabled on the grounds that the property is not accessible.
ALL multi-family housing projects are required to be accessible per the Fair Housing Act. This includes apartment complexes, and even condominiums as long as there are four or more units in the property.
Here are the requirements from the fair housing act guidelines:
- At walk-ups (no elevator) ALL ground level units must meet the requirements
- in an elevator building ALL units must meet the requirements
Building code and ADA does have percentages for how many units are required to be fully compliant vs. adaptable, but fair housing does not. Therefore all units must be designed using the minimum guidelines listed below.
There are seven requirements:
1) Accessible building entrance on an accessible route: At least one entrance into the building or unit
2) Accessible and Usable public and common use areas: Places such as parking lots, mail boxes, recreational area, lobbies, laundry areas, community building must be accessible and usable.
3) Usable doors: all doors that allow passage must be wide enough (32" nominal) and the main entrance must have proper hardware
4) Accessible route into and through the covered dwelling unit
5) Light switches, Electrical outlets, thermostat and other environmental controls in accessible locations
6) Reinforced walls in bathrooms for future installation of grab bars
7) Usable kitchens and bathrooms: Should be designed and constructed so an individual in a wheelchair can maneuver in the space provided. No knee clearances are required
To understand more in detail the requirements, visit the Fair Housing Act website or click here for the Design Manual