Housing You Can Live With: Universal Design, Accessibility & Visitability in Single Family Housing Virginia Accessible Housing Solutions Virginia Association of Realtors 2011
Introduction • This course designed to provide housing professionals with an overview of: • the increasing marketability, desirability and need for accessible single-family housing • a description of the approaches, goals & essential elements of universal design & accessibility features for aging-in-place and visitability.
Learning Objectives • To understand the increasing need for and marketability of a broad range of accessible single family housing choices for persons with disabilities, seniors, and their families, caregivers, and friends. • To recognize that support for and implementation of universal design standards & visitability features benefit ALL housing consumers.
Learning Objectives • To understand the needs and requirements of persons with varying disabilities and mobility impairments and how accessibility design guidelines were developed. • To encourage development & marketing of accessible features in single family housing as an opportunity to meet the needs of a growing segment of the population. • To understand the goals, approaches, & accessible features of universal design & visitability.
The Need for Accessible Housing • According to the 2010 American Community Survey conducted by the U.S. Census Bureau, more than 36 million Americans have some form of disability, and nearly 20 million of them have an “ambulatory difficulty”.
The Need for Accessible Housing • More than 2.7 million people over the age of 15 years use a wheelchair • Another 7 million use a cane, crutches, a walker or other mobility aid.
The Need for Accessible Housing • The 2009 American Community Survey estimates over 800,000 persons with some form of disability in Virginia. • Nearly 1 million people in Virginia are age 65 or over and a third has some form of disability.
The Need for Accessible Housing • There is a substantial, and largely untapped, market that would directly benefit from an increased availability of single family housing with accessible design features. • A variety of market forces will make accessible features increasingly desirable
The Need for Accessible Housing • Nearly 90% of adults 50+ want to stay in their homes as long as possible • Greater integration of people with disabilities in community & workplace • Viable homeowners • Likely visitors • Adult children with disabilities living at home • Returning veterans need accessible housing
Need for Accessible Housing • Accessible housing is an essential means of ensuring that people with disabilities are able to fully participate in community life.
Need for Accessible Housing Many persons with disabilities and seniors can afford a variety of accessible housing choices. But the hardest combination to find is Accessible and affordable housing
Group Activity/Discussion: • What experiences have you had with a temporary or long-term disability?
Definitions: • Disability: • A physical or mental impairment which substantially limits one or more major life activities; a record of such impairment; or being regarded as having such an impairment
Definitions: • Accessibility: • A continuous and unobstructed way of travel from any point in a building or facility that provides a barrier-free route to an area of refuge, a horizontal exit, or a public way.
Definitions: • Adaptable: • An area, space, building or housing unit which can easily be made accessible with minor additions or modifications.
Definitions: • Universal Design: • The design of products and environments to be usable by all people, to the greatest extent possible, without the need for adaptation of specialized design.
Definitions: • Visitability: • Building a minimal set of accessibility features that allow persons with disabilities to visit others in the community and be able to move around and use first-floor entrance and bathroom.
There is NO current federal legal requirement that new or existing single family housing be accessible to people with disabilities.
Hierarchy of Accessibility • No accessibility features • Minimal features that allow entry and use of essential rooms • Essential accessibility features that allow for adaptation • Full accessibility
Inclusionary Design Goals: • Allow maximum utility of space for broadest range of people. • Generally voluntary, although there may be “best practices” . • Increasing use by state and local governments of incentives to encourage; some localities have mandatory requirements.
Inclusionary Design Goals: • Use of visitability features & Universal Design is human, sensible, & good marketing • Addresses safety & mobility needs of changing population • Universal Design can apply to ALL housing types
Development of Inclusionary Design • Consideration of “human factors” in the built environment • Anthropometrics – the dimension & functional capacity of the human body • Ergonomics – the application of human factors to design
Development of Inclusionary Design • Basis of accessible design is the wheelchair user – if a space is designed to be usable for wheelchair, it will be accessible for wide range of mobility characteristics.
Universal Design & Visitability • Universal Design is the idea of making things comfortable and convenient for as many different people at as many stages of life as possible (Iowa Program for Assistive Technology)
Universal Design & Visitability • Allow flexibility to adapt to changing needs – including aging-in-place • Allow guests with mobility impairments to visit • Reduce common causes of home accidents • Make everyday life activities simpler.
3 Essential Features of Home Design for Visitability • One zero-step entrance, at the front, back or side of the house • All main floor doors, including bathrooms, with at least 32 inches of clear passage space • At least a half bath, preferably a full bath, on the main floor
Visitability • Cost-efficient benefits to wide range of residents & visitors • Makes future accessibility adaptations relatively easy
The Principles of Universal Design NC State University, Center for Universal Design • PRINCIPLE ONE: Equitable Use • The design is useful and marketable to people with diverse abilities.
Principles of Universal Design • PRINCIPLE TWO: Flexibility in Use • The design accommodates a wide range of individual preferences and abilities.
Principles of Universal Design • PRINCIPLE THREE: Simple and Intuitive Use • Use of the design is easy to understand, regardless of the user's experience, knowledge, language skills, or current concentration level.
Principles of Universal Design • PRINCIPLE FOUR: Perceptible Information • The design communicates necessary information effectively to the user, regardless of ambient conditions or the user's sensory abilities.
Principles of Universal Design • PRINCIPLE FIVE: Tolerance for Error • The design minimizes hazards and the adverse consequences of accidental or unintended actions.
Principles of Universal Design • PRINCIPLE SIX: Low Physical Effort • The design can be used efficiently and comfortably and with a minimum of fatigue.
Principles of Universal Design • PRINCIPLE SEVEN: Size and Space for Approach and Use • Appropriate size and space is provided for approach, reach, manipulation, and use regardless of user's body size, posture, or mobility.
Universal Design in Virginia • EasyLiving Home Virginia • Voluntary certification program • To encourage architects & builders of single family homes, duplexes, triplexes to include specific accessibility features in new homes
Universal Design in Virginia • EasyLiving Home • Collaborative effort of Home Builders Association of Virginia, individual builders, Virginia Housing Development Authority, AARP, Virginia Board for People with Disabilities, and others • The EasyLiving Home certification is designed to meet the needs of an emerging market and to encourage builders to include cost-effective features that enhance the accessibility and visitability of single family homes
Universal Design in Virginia • Virginia Accessible Housing Solutions, Inc. • Non-profit organization developed cooperatively by representatives of the building industry, government, and accessibility advocates to promote change in construction practices without adversely affecting builders or home buyers. • VAHS certifies EasyLiving homes
Easy Living Home certification • 3 requirements: • Easy Access • Easy Passage • Easy Use
Easy Access • A step-free entrance and threshold (not more than ½”) - from driveway, sidewalk or other firm route into the central living area
w Stepless entry from garage with package shelf
Easy Passage • Exterior door that provides step-free entrance • Minimum 32” clear passage through every interior door on main level
Measuring Exercise • How do you measure the clear passage of doorways?