The 1998 Federal Fair Housing Act amendment added the following accessibility requirements for construction of all multifamily housing of four or more units first occupied after March 13, 1991. These requirements only apply to ground floor units if the building does not have an elevator.
- Public and common areas must be accessible and usable for persons with disabilities
- All doors and hallways must be wide enough for wheelchairs
- All units must have the following (1) an accessible route through the unit; (2) accessible light switches, electrical outlets, thermostats and other environmental controls; (3) reinforced walls in bathrooms to allow for installation of grab bars; and (4) kitchens and bathrooms that can be used by people in wheelchairs.
Reasonable Accommodations for Persons with Disabilities
A housing provider may not refuse to make reasonable accommodations in rules, policies, practices, or services if it may be necessary for a client to use the housing on an equal basis with nondisabled persons.
Reasonable Modifications for Persons with Disabilities
Housing providers may not refuse to let persons with disabilities make reasonable modifications to dwellings or common areas at their own expense in order for them to fully use the housing. Where it is reasonable, a landlord may permit changes only if the occupant restores the property to its original condition she or he moves, except for common areas.