Policy Strategies

State and City Laws

US Legislation

Inclusive Home Design Act (PDF) presented to the 108th Congress 1st Session (originally introduced as HR 2353 in 2003). Currently, if government funding is used to build single-family detached houses, duplexes, triplexes, or townhouses, 5% have to have extensive access features – lowered cabinets, roll-in showers, etc. But the other 95% can have no access at all! IHDA, if passed, corrects this. The 5% fully accessible remain, and the rest of the houses offer visitability. Read Eleanor Smith’s testimony to Congress on IHDA (PDF) September, 2010).

Around the World

British Mandate

In March 1998, Parliament passed the mandate creating access to all new homes throughout England and Wales. The ripples will spread world-wide. The regulations further expose the inaccurate assertions of groups in the United States like the National Association of Home Builders (NAHB) that basic access isn’t needed, can’t be done, won’t be done…

The specific construction requirements can be found in Section M of the Building Regulations. Among the requirements are an accessible approach to the dwelling, a zero-step entrance when topography permits, at least a half-bath on the main floor, wide halls and doorways, and accessible switches and electrical outlets.

Vancouver, BC Canada 2013

Through the efforts of Jill Weiss and others, a law covering several interior features for every new house in the city passed in 2013. The zero step entrance portion is expected to pass in the near future.