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Thread: The Inclusive Home Design Act (H.R. 1441)

  1. #1

    The Inclusive Home Design Act (H.R. 1441)

    did you know?

    a Fact Sheet on

    The Inclusive Home Design Act (H.R. 1441)

    What current problems does The Inclusive Home Design Act address?

    Currently, only 5% of new single-family homes and townhouses financially assisted by the US Federal government require any access features that permit people with mobility impairments to visit or reside in the homes. The remaining 95% use public money to create new, unnecessary architectural barriers. The result is that residents who develop disabilities often face expensive renovations at their own or public cost...or, more often, in the many cases where renovations are unfeasible, residents live in unsafe conditions or are displaced from their homes into institutions. Additionally, disabled people-- from children to elderly-- and their immediate families become socially isolated because architectural barriers in homes prevent visits to their friends, neighbors and extended family.

    How does this Act address the problems?

    The Act requires a basic level of architectural access, whenever practical, in the 95% of Federally assisted new homes not currently covered by law.

    Are renovations of existing homes covered by the Act?


    What architectural features does the Act require?
    • At least one zero-step entrance on an accessible route at the front, side or back of the home, or through an attached garage-wherever is most feasible for the given terrain.
    • All interior passage doors on the main floor of the home providing a minimum of 32 inches of clear passage space.
    • A useable bathroom with at least a toilet and sink on the main level.
    • Blocking in bathroom walls for later installation of grab bars if and when they are needed.
    • Electrical and climate controls such as light switches, sockets and thermostats located at reachable heights.
    What are the total, average added costs per home for all the features?

    For homes built on a concrete slab, $98

    For homes with a basement or crawl space, $573

    Can the requirement for a zero-step entrance be waived if the terrain offers extreme difficulty and would therefore require excessive cost?


    Are multi-story homes permitted which have no access to upper floors ?

    Yes. The requirements refer to the main floor only.

    What types of Federal assistance require the architectural access features?

    Grants, loans, subsidies, land given or sold at less than market value, tax credits, mortgage assistance, loan guarantees, or insurance, provided by or from the Federal government, or use of Federal personnel.

    What are the enforcement mechanisms?

    Applicants for Federal financial assistance must submit an assurance to the Federal agency responsible for such assistance that all of its programs and activities will be conducted in compliance with the Act. The applicants must also submit architectural plans to the state or local entity that is responsible, under State or local law, to review and approve or disapprove construction plans for compliance. The Secretary of HUD may not provide any Federal financial assistance under any program administered by HUD to an applicant before determining that these actions have been completed. Furthermore, consistent with applicable State or local laws and procedures, the relevant state and local entities must withhold final approval of construction or occupancy of a covered dwelling unit unless and until compliance is determined. If a dwelling covered by the Act is constructed without complying, an individual or group may take civil action. The Attorney General may also take action. Punitive damages may be sought.

    Who introduced the Inclusive Home Design Act?

    Representative Jan Shakowsky of the 9th District of Illinois

    Where can I get a copy of the Act?

    A copy of the bill is available on this website ( (See Text of H.R. 1441)

    How can I get involved to help pass the Inclusive Home Design Act?
    1. Work and organize to find co-sponsors in the House, educate the public, and let us know how your efforts are going.
    2. Get letters of support from you-- and especially from any larger organizations you belong to or with which you have a connection. Send letters of support to:

    Darrell Price, Housing Policy Coordinator

    Access Living
    614 W. Roosevelt Rd.
    Chicago IL 60607

    In your support letters please include, "ATTN: The Honorable Jan Schakowsky." Thank her for introducing the Inclusive Home Design Act and tell her why it is needed.

    Contact Darrell Price at or Beto Barrera at, to get materials and exchange the latest information about the Act.

    Regional contact persons are also be available in your area. (See the IHDA Contact List on this website.) A cost sheet is available as well. (See IHDA Cost Data on this website.)

  2. #2
    Lizbv (or anyone else)

    What do you think of this bill? I know other wheelers working w/ it that don't support it and I'm fairly familiar w/ it cuz I'm in the process of buying a house.
    Last edited by tegdirb; 07-14-2005 at 09:53 PM.

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