REQUIREMENT 1: ACCESSIBLE BUILDING ENTRANCE ON AN ACCESSIBLE ROUTE
Where can I find the accessibility standards for dwelling units required to be accessible under the Fair Housing Act's design and construction requirements?
Fair Housing Act requires seven basic requirements that must be
met to comply with the access requirements of the Act. Those
Can an accessible route be an indirect route? Can it have locks or a call button for its use?
requires that an accessible route not be hidden, remote,
circuitous or require people with disabilities to travel long
distances. It also requires that use of an accessible route not
place requirements, like a special key, an attendant, or
additional waiting periods, on people with disabilities.
Providing an accessible route that has different and less
favorable conditions for people with disabilities than for
people without disabilities may violate the Fair Housing Act
because it amounts to a difference in terms and conditions of
housing based on disability. However, imposing key requirements
or other special access provisions, or providing an indirect
route does not violate the law if those requirements apply to
all people and not just people with disabilities.
Which entrance or entrances to a covered unit must be accessible? Can the accessible entrance be a patio door or a back door?
entrance is an exterior access point used by residents for the
purpose of entering the building. Using a patio door or a
secondary door like a back door as the only accessible entrance
establishes different terms and conditions for people with
disabilities. This practice may also require a person with
disabilities to use long or circuitous routes, which violates
the Act. This principle was recently affirmed in United States
v. Edward Rose Construction Co., Civil Action No. 02-73518, (W.D.
MI, 2003) where the court said, "HUD interprets the Act
such that a primary entrance is part of the public or common use
areas, regardless of whether it opens from the interior or
exterior. If this is true, then, it must comply with the FHA
accessibility requirements, even if there is a secondary
entrance that is adequately accessible. A 'primary entrance,' it
seems, is one that is on an accessible route and is most likely
to be used as such, particularly when it is most convenient to
Under the Fair Housing Act's design and construction requirements, may an accessible entrance be through a loading dock or service door?
See Guidelines, Definition of "Entrance," which
states, "For purposes of these guidelines, an
"entrance" does not include a door to a loading dock
or a door used primarily as a service entrance, even if
non-handicapped residents occasionally use that door to
Housing Accessibility Guidelines, 56 FR 9472, 9482, March 6,
If a required accessible route has a slope of more than 5%, is this portion of the route a walkway or a ramp?
is a ramp and must meet the requirements for ramps, including
slopes not to exceed 8.33%, handrails on both sides, edge
protection, and comply with all other applicable specifications
of ANSI A117.1.