Public Accessibility Codes & Residential Housing

There are many misconceptions in the industry pertaining to wheelchair accessibility in privately owned, residential housing. Many perceived experts or authorities will often refer to public accessibility codes, such as the ADA and Fair Housing Act, for design requirements and specifications when designing space for individuals in private residential houses. There are two noteworthy points to this practice; not only do these public accessibility codes not apply to privately owned property but actually implementing these design requirements for an individual in a private house can be dangerous (see Appendix A). Below is a list of commonly cited public accessibility codes which do not apply to residential housing:

  1. Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA) (United States Access Board 2012)
  2. Fair Housing Act (United States Department of Justice 2013)
  3. ANSI A117.1 (International Codes Council 2009)
  4. Uniform Federal Accessibility Standards (UFAS) (Federal Register 49 FR 31528 1984)
  5. National Association Kitchen and Bath (see Appendix B)