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The Americans with Disabilities Act requires access to people with disabilities for all new multi-family dwellings and a small percentage (5%) of single-family homes constructed using public funds. This law obviously does not address the vast majority of single-family housing in the United States.

Three Basic Conditions

Visitability seeks to make new housing accessible by having it meet three basic conditions:

  • One zero-step entrance with a wheelchair approachable route
  • Hallways and doorways wide enough for safe navigation by wheelchairs
  • One wheelchair-accessible bathroom on the main floor

Just making these three changes in the design of new homes is a cost-effective way for people to maintain their independence. Most people living with a disability will tell you that their biggest issue is living in a world that does not consciously accommodate their needs. A lack of easy access denies those who need it opportunities to interact, socialize, create, and enjoy friendships.

The Accessible Housing Advocacy Program provides information, consultation, and advocacy with respect to Visitability and Universal Design. This program can also connect individuals with realtors and home builders knowledgeable and capable of identifying features necessary for an accessible home. Our goal is to maximize residential functionality and marketability by taking a responsible look at community needs and identifying economical, environmental and aesthetically pleasing solutions.

Looking For Accessible Housing?

Community Housing Resources

Should you be looking for accessible housing please explore these sites. If you need help negotiating any of these, please give us a call. We would be happy to help.

Ohio Housing Locator

Go Section 8

Ohio Housing Finance Agency

HUD Ohio Apartment Search

Ohio Preservation Compact

Home Modifications for Disability


Making Residential Housing Accessible

For many households, finding decent, afford­able housing that also supports their activities is extremely difficult. A family living in a typical home often faces expensive modifications they cannot afford such as adding ramps, widening doorways, or creating usable bathrooms. Universal Design incorporates many accessibility code requirements and stresses innovative solutions to facilitate daily living and independence, especially for people who have, are, or will be experiencing changes in their mobility and/or sight and hearing. When housing can be safer and more usable for current and future residents allowing them to “age in place”, countless dollars in costly nursing home and Medicaid expenses can be saved. Close family and community relations can be main­tained, contributing to an individual’s sense of place and helping to maintain community cohesiveness, neighborhood permanence, as well as individual mental and physical health. Residential Rehabilitation, Remodeling and Universal Design (PDF) introduces key universal features to include when modifying or rehabilitating a single or multifamily dwelling.

Home Modifications for Disability – Independent Living: Resources and Funding Strategies for Making Homes Accessible