Fair Housing Accessibility FIRST
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U.S. Department of Housing and Urban DevelopmentEqual Housing Opportunity

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Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs)


CONDOMINIUMS

Do the Fair Housing Act's design and construction requirements apply to detached single-family homes?

No, 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.

Other laws may require accessibility in detached single-family houses.


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Do the Fair Housing Act's design and construction requirements cover condominiums?

Yes. The Fair Housing Act's design and construction requirements cover condominiums in covered multifamily dwellings; the design and construction requirements make no distinctions based on ownership.

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What kind of housing is covered by the Fair Housing Act's access requirements?

Almost all types of housing with four or more units in one building that have been designed and constructed since March 13, 1991 are covered. This includes condominiums, apartment buildings, vacation or other time share units, assisted living projects, public housing authorities, HOPE VI projects, projects funded with HOME or other federal funds, transitional housing, and SROs (single room occupancy units) designed for more than overnight stays, dormitory rooms, homeless shelters used as a residence, cooperatives, hospices, and more.

If there is at least one elevator in the building, all units must comply. If there is no elevator, all of the ground floor units must comply.


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Does a condominium unit that is pre-sold and custom designed during construction for a particular purchaser have to comply with the access requirements in the Fair Housing Act?

Yes. The fact that a condominium unit is sold before the completion of construction does not exempt a developer from compliance with the access requirements. The access requirements are mandatory regardless of the ownership status of the individual unit. Preamble to the Guidelines, 56 FR 9472, 9481 (March 6, 1991), Supplement to Notice of Fair Housing Accessibility Guidelines: Questions and Answers about the Guidelines, 59 FR 33362-33368, June 28, 1994, question 3(b).

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