Accessibility

Overview

While a house with a well-maintained stairway and attractive front door may offer terrific curb appeal, it may present difficulties to those with mobility challenges.  And once inside a home, other obstacles may present themselves.  Are cabinets too high, or are the faucet handles on that beautiful inset kitchen sink too far out of reach for some? Are youth and elders as comfortable in the home as you and your clients? NAR supports homeownership for all — be ready for every challenge your clients may face living in their home or hosting others, now and in the future. Be the knowledgeable adviser they’ll need and come back to.

Political Advocacy

Current Legislation/Regulation

Nothing at this time


In-Depth

Find NAR's letters, testimonies, bill updates, and more on the NAR Federal Issues Tracker


Legislative Contact(s):

Fred Underwood
funderwood@realtors.org
202-383-1132

Joe Harris
jharris@realtors.org
202-383-1226

Regulatory Contact(s):

Fred Underwood
funderwood@realtors.org
202-383-1132

What is the fundamental issue?

Visitable Housing is designed and built to allow guests with mobility impairments to visit someone in their home without architectural barriers impeding their ability to move in and out of the home or use facilities a guest, such as for dinner, would need. Such housing also makes it easier for residents to adapt their house as they age and develop mobility impairments. A significant number of local governments have required or encouraged new housing to be built with visitable features. There are some national voices calling for greater inclusion of visitable features in new homes as well.

I am a real estate professional. What does this mean for my business?

Housing which is visitable may be more attractive to buyers who have friends and relatives with mobility impairments. The costs associated with adding basic visitable features, such as no-threshhold steps, wider doors, larger guest bathrooms, add little to the cost of housing at the time of construction. Such housing could be marketed as visitable to buyers.

NAR Policy:

NAR supports the Fair Housing Act's requirement that new multi-family housing be accessible to persons with disabilities. NAR also opposes actions which place liability for incorrectly constructed housing on subsequent owners and REALTORS® marketing the housing. NAR believes that visitability, the ability to host visitors with mobility impairments, can be important in homes. NAR believes that any visitability policy should be defined as voluntary. Further, NAR believes that the market is the best mechanism to produce visitable housing and opposes any federal visitability mandates. For the purposes of this policy, the key features of visitability apply to one level of the home. These are a no-step entry, passage doorways that provide at least 32” clearance, and a minimum of a useable half bathroom with a sink and water closet.

Legislative/Regulatory Status/Outlook

Nothing at this time

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