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US Department of Housing and Urban Development regulates Fair Housing and Equal Opportunity for residential facilities.  Regulations are at 24 CFR part 100.

Multi-family developments and single-family dwelling units in buildings having four or more units with first occupancy after March 13, 1991 must be designed and constructed to provide accessible and adaptable units through compliance with ANSI A117.1—1986.

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Services offered:

> Review plans and issue report on compliance with FHADM

> Inspect construction to report compliance with FHADM

> Inspection for conformance with DOJ Consent Decrees

> Post-occupancy evaluations of existing developments

Phone: 512-787-3687 or 512-557-1676

Fax: 866-268-1810


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Fair Housing Act Services

Accessibility for Multi-Unit Housing

All ground floor apartments and condominiums and all apartments and condominiums in elevator buildings of four or more units (subject to other specific exemptions), built for first occupancy after March 13, 1991, are required to comply with the Fair Housing Act (FHA) as amended in 1988. The Fair Housing Accessibility Guidelines were developed by HUD to provide a "safe harbor" for compliance with the Act. Common use areas outside the units must comply with the 1986 ANSI A117.1 technical standards, or other more stringent nationally recognized standard. There are currently 10 approved "safe harbors" for compliance. However, the FHA Guidelines provides scoping, or when to apply technical standards.

Multi-unit housing also must also be built to comply with the locally adopted building code and other State statutes on accessibility. Most Building Codes require a small percentage of units to meet higher accessibility standards, called Type A Units. The remaining units need to meet Type B standards, which is similar to, but not identical to the FHA Guidelines. Additionally, the ADA applies to parts of mixed use buildings and community amenities not used solely for the residents.

Unfortunately, many apartment complexes built during the 1990s are not fully compliant, and some significantly non-compliant! This often surfaces as apartment complexes are sold to new Owners who perform due diligence for purchase, or by lenders during a refinancing process. ADA Assistance is prepared to assist you with apartment accessibility issues..

SEVEN BASIC REQUIREMENTS must be met to comply with the access requirements of the Fair Housing Act. Those Requirements are:

Requirement 1. An accessible building entrance on an accessible route.
Requirement 2. Accessible common and public use areas.
Requirement 3. Usable doors (usable by a person in a wheelchair).
Requirement 4. Accessible route into and through the dwelling unit.
Requirement 5. Light switches, electrical outlets, thermostats and other environmental controls in accessible locations.
Requirement 6. Reinforced walls in bathrooms for later installation of grab bars.
Requirement 7. Usable kitchens and bathrooms.

These requirements are stated in the 
Fair Housing Act, as amended, 42 U.S.C. 3604(f)(3)(C). To describe these requirements in more detail, HUD published Fair Housing Accessibility Guidelines (the Guidelines) on March 6, 1991, and supplemented those Guidelines with aSupplemental Notice: Questions and Answers About the Guidelines published on June 28, 1994. The Guidelines are one of eight safe harbors for compliance that HUD has identified.


HUD recognizes 15 safe harbors for compliance with the Fair Housing Act's design and construction requirements.

* Effective February 28, 2005 HUD determined that the IBC 2003 is a safe harbor, conditioned upon ICC publishing and distributing a statement to jurisdictions and past and future purchasers of the 2003 IBC stating, "ICC interprets Section 1104.1, and specifically, the exception to Section 1104.1, to be read together with Section 1107.4, and that the Code requires an accessible pedestrian route from site arrival points to accessible building entrances, unless site impracticality applies. Exception 1 to Section 1107.4 is not applicable to site arrival points for any Type B dwelling units because site impracticality is addressed under Section 1107.7."

Information about these safe harbors as well as HUD’s policy with respect to their use may be found in Report of HUD Review of the Fair Housing Accessibility Requirements in the 2006 International Building Code..

Excerpt from the FHA Design Manual:

“Under the Fair Housing Act, discrimination includes a failure to design and construct covered multifamily dwellings in a manner which includes the specific features of accessible design delineated in the Act. Thus, responsibility for complying with the law rests with any and all persons involved in the design and construction of covered multifamily dwellings. This means, for example, that if a complaint is filed, the complaint could be filed against all persons involved in the design and construction of the building, including architects, builders, building contractors, the owner, etc.”