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HUD to Update Disabled Access Regulations

The planning process starts with questions. HUD notes that things like technology have changed, and it will update regulations after a public comment period.

WASHINGTON – The U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development (HUD) says federal fair-housing regulations about access for those with disabilities should be updated – but it’s not doing so until the public weighs in.

To secure those public comments, HUD published an Advance Notice of Proposed Rulemaking (ANPRM) in the Federal Register. It’s “considering revising Section 504 of the Rehabilitation Act of 1973 (Section 504) implementing regulation at 24 C.F.R. part 8” and requests public comment before considering potential revisions.

Section 504 prohibits discrimination on the basis of disability in programs and activities receiving federal financial assistance from HUD, and it follows through on the White House Blueprint for a Renters Bill of Rights announced earlier this year.

“Inclusive communities and accessible, affordable housing are at the core of HUD’s mission,” says Demetria L. McCain, principal deputy assistant secretary for fair housing and equal opportunity. “Modern standards for accessible program design must reflect advances in building practices and technology. Hearing from the public, particularly stakeholders most directly impacted, is an integral part of HUD’s rulemaking process.”

In the request for comment, HUD asks 12 broad questions. They include things like:

  • Is the definition of ‘‘individual with disabilities’’ consistent with the ADA Amendments Act of 2008?
  • Are there specific examples of discrimination that individuals with mental health or substance use disabilities have experienced?
  • What types of auxiliary aids and services do individuals with disabilities need in housing and community development programs and activities?
  • What challenges exist in using a housing choice voucher (HCV) in the private market to secure a unit that meets disability-related needs?
  • A number of federal agencies oversee federal accessibility laws. How can it “harmonize … the requirements among the various standards and achieve greater consistency in the design and construction of buildings and facilities?

HUD invites all members of the public – individuals with disabilities, HUD recipients, all levels of government, tribes, housing providers and social service providers – to provide input. Comments may be submitted electronically through, or through the methods described in the advance notice of proposed rulemaking.

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