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HUD on the Role of Housing in Accomplishing the Goals of Olmstead

If you or someone associated with you:

  • Has a physical or mental disability (including hearing, mobility and visual impairments, chronic alcoholism, chronic mental illness, AIDS, AIDS Related Complex and mental retardation, etc.) that substantially limits one or more major life activities

  • Have a record of such a disability or

  • Are regarded as having such a disability

your housing provider may not:


In buildings of four or more units ready for first occupancy after March 13, 1991:

  • Public and common areas must be accessible to persons with disabilities

  • Doors and hallways must be wide enough for wheelchairs

  • All units must have:

    • An accessible route into and through the unit

    • Accessible light switches, electrical outlets, thermostats and other environmental controls

    • Reinforced bathroom walls to allow later installation of grab bars and

    • Kitchens and bathrooms that can be used by people in wheelchairs.

If a building with four or more units has no elevator and will be ready for first occupancy after March 13, 1991, these standards apply only to ground floor units.

These requirements for new buildings do not replace more stringent standards in State or local law.

HUD DOJ Joint Statement on Design and Construction

Design and Construction Guide

The Seven Requirements



Housing that receives federal funds must also comply with Section 504 of the Rehabilitation Act of 1973. To view these regulations, select the link below:

Rehabilitation Act of 1973

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