fbpx

search

HUD and ADA Design Standards

Changes to the Section 504 Design Requirements

Late last month, HUD announced changes to the accessibility design standards. This notice states that owners of multifamily properties under HUD Assistance (Section 8, HOME, etc) can now meet their accessible design obligations under Section 504 by complying with the Justice Department's 2010 ADA Design Standards.
For quite some time, UFAS (Uniform Federal Accessibility Standards) has been the widely accepted protocol that covered physical design rules for HUD Section 504 as well as public accommodations. In many ways, the 2010 ADA standards for accessible design are more "modern" and easier to follow than the often cumbersome UFAS standards.

HUD Adopts 2010 ADA Design Standards

HUD's notice does not completely accept the 2010 standards, however. HUD has chosen to preserve certain areas of UFAS where the new standards are not as strict as the existing UFAS standards. The HUD notice specifies a range of exceptions where owners will have to continue to comply to UFAS standards and cannot switch to the 2010 ADA standards. For example, in the 2010 ADA standards, the concept of "structural practicality" was introduced, where certain sites are defined as not-practical to adapt to barrier-free design. HUD has rejected the flexibility of structural flexibility introduced in the 2010 ADA standards and is continuing with UFAS's standard that if a site cannot be made accessible, then it cannot be used for HUD-funded housing.

As a result of the new HUD guidance, owners have more choices, but not necessarily good ones. They can continue to follow the UFAS rules, which would be considered more "stringent", or carefully adopt the 2010 ADA standards, including the outlined exceptions, and wherever there is a conflict between the two standards, the owner/developer should seek to follow the rule that would provide the "most" accessible design protection.

Long story short - what do you have to do about this change? If you have an existing property and there are no known design issues - then you don't have to do anything. If you undertake a substantial rehab, refinance, or new construction, then it may be subject to new standards for accessible design requirements.

If you should have any questions about what you can do with your particular situation, please do not hesitate to contact us at www.us-hc.com/ctus.html

(referenced: Nixon Peabody 5/29/14) 

Opinion vs. Deficiency on REAC Inspections
How Weather Events Affect Inspections

Latest Blogs

13 January 2020
REAC Inspections
Resident Involvement in REAC/NSPIRE Inspection Process​​As part of the NSPIRE pilot process, HUD has announced that additional processes will be added to engage the residents in the REAC/NSPIRE process. You can read the press release on HUD's website...
24 August 2019
REAC Inspections
On August 21, 2019, HUD published a set of proposed rules in the Federal Register "Notice of Demonstration To Assess the National Standards for the Physical Inspection of Real Estate and Associated Protocols" 24 CFR Parts 5 and 200; [Docket No. FR–6...
21 August 2019
REAC Inspections
On August 20, 2019, HUD released the first of the new NSPIRE protocols which will be expected to become active once the pilot/demonstration program has concluded. This is a first look at what deficiencies will look like under NSPIRE, the inspection ...
16 July 2019
REAC Inspections
July 8, 2019 HUD's Office of Multifamily Housing Asset Management and Oversight released a memorandum reiterating the rules surrounding notice prior to entering resident's units, availability of documentation for residents to review, and clarificati...
09 July 2019
REAC Inspections
The House Financial Services Committee passed a bill - the Safe Housing for Families Act of 2019 (H.R. 1690), and it will likely move forward to a full vote in the near future. The bill provides $300 million over three years to fund the installation...

Blog Archive