Mandating Visitability for New Housing is a No-Brainer

By Patricia Morrissey & David Leake for the Center for Disability Studies

Wheelchair users often find it impossible to make visits to the many homes that cannot be entered with wheelchairs. The idea of “visitable” housing has therefore been promoted to address this problem and prevent the social isolation it may bring.

Visitable homes have stepless entrances and wide enough doors and hallways for wheelchair access, including to bathrooms.

A study recently completed by our Center on Disability Studies at the University of Hawaii at Manoa found that people with disabilities often face great difficulties finding accessible housing. This is particularly true at lower income levels due to the severe shortage of housing that is both affordable and accessible.

Meanwhile Hawaii is experiencing a “silver tsunami” with the nation’s fastest growth rate in the senior proportion of the population. As people age they tend to develop disabilities, including mobility difficulties, further increasing demand for housing both affordable and accessible. Read more at the Center for Disability Studies website.