Ragged Edge online


From the


More about the Inclusive Home Design Act 0f 2005

Eleanor Smith of Concrete Change says the consequences of not building visitable homes "will really will come home to rest" on society in the near future. More.
Visitability costs explained

When Tucson's Pima County Board of Supervisors passed the "Inclusive Home Design Ordinance" in 2002, it was almost immediately taken to court by the Southern Arizona Home Builders Association, who raised many of the same objections as Gov. Owens. But in Arizona, visitability advocates prevailed. Read story.

Colorado gov nixes 'visitability'

Visitability advocates' efforts to get Colorado to adopt visitability in new homes built with public money met defeat at the hands of Gov. Bill Owens last month, and advocates are worried about a "visitability backlash."

The arch-conservative Republican governor, in his veto message, called the bill "fatally flawed because sit seeks to micromanage the affordable housing market.... the homes would have to be built to the accessibility specifications required in the bill, whether the owners desired it or not."

Owens insisted that such homes would be "virtually unmarketable."

The governor's message contains a number of "serious misconceptions" about visitability, say advocates, including the erroneous belief that homes buiit with visitability features are "unmarketable" --- "this has been disproved in thousands of homes built in numerous locales," says Concrete Change's Eleanor Smith -- or that they cost more. Studies have repeatedly shown that incorporating visitabilty features into new homes costs almost nothing.

The bill would have created a three-year pilot program under which single-family housing built using Federal funds would have been required to be built with the "visitability" design features of one no-step entrance, wider doorways and one main-floor bathroom big enough for someone in a wheelchair to get in.

Owens mentioned that Habitat for Humanity, as a recipient of federal funds, would have been required to make its new homes visitable under the pilot program.

With the defeat of the Colorado bill, Smith worries that a backlash may be occurring. Others say they see the handprint of the National Association of Homebuilders on efforts to stall visitability. The Colorado bill is a version of the federal visitability bill now in Congress -- the Inclusive Home Design Act -- and the NAHB, they say, is lobbying against the federal bill as well.

While the AARP has had good things to say in the past about visitability, they have yet to formally endorse the federal bill, despite requests from disability advocates. They say they have it "under consideration" and urge disability advocates to contact AARP and ask them to endorse the legislation.

Posted June 13, 2005.

WHAT DO YOU THINK of what you've just read? Click to tell us.

Back to home page



© Copyright 2005 The Ragged Edge


This Website produced by Cliffwood Organic Works