SINGLE FAMILY HOMES
Do the Fair Housing Act's design and construction requirements apply to detached single-family homes?
the Fair Housing Act's design and construction requirements only
apply to covered multifamily dwellings--buildings that have four
or more units. In buildings that have an elevator, all of the
units are covered. If the building does not have an elevator,
all of the ground floor units are covered. This includes
single-family homes when there are four or more in the building
(for example, condominiums). However, detached single-family
houses are not covered by the Fair Housing Act's design and
construction requirements. Although the Fair Housing Act's
design and construction requirements may not apply to detached
single-family homes, the Fair Housing Act's other provisions,
such as nondiscrimination in sales, rental, or financing
practices, do apply.
Do any accessibility requirements apply to detached single-family homes?
single family homes that are funded in any way by federal,
state, or local funds may be required to be accessible under
laws other than the Fair Housing Act. These laws, particularly
Section 504 of the 1973 Rehabilitation Act and Title II of the
Americans with Disabilities Act, have requirements for
accessibility. For example, detached single family houses funded
through the HOPE VI program operated by the Department of
Housing and Urban Development (HUD), whether for sale or rental,
must comply with HUD's requirements for Section 504. This
includes making at least 5% of the units accessible to persons
with mobility impairments and at least 2% of the units
accessible to persons with vision and hearing impairments. The
applicable standard for compliance is the Uniform
Federal Accessibility Standard or UFAS.
Is a single family home which is being designed and constructed to be a group home covered by the design and construction requirements if it contains four or more sleeping rooms and shared kitchens or baths?
single family house that will be occupied by four or more
unrelated persons that functions as one distinct household, such
as what is commonly referred to as a "group home", is
not considered to be a "covered multifamily dwelling"
for purposes of the application of the design and construction
requirements of the Act, even if it contains four or more
sleeping areas. This interpretation is consistent with case
precedent and the position of the Department of Housing and
Urban Development and the Department of Justice with respect to
the application of zoning and land use restrictions to single
family group homes.