- Report Published -
|Regulatory Provisions Affecting Accessible Routes into Certain Buildings and the Promotion of Universal Design Elements in Dwelling Units|
|Department of Housing and Community Development; Department of Rehabilitative Services|
|HJR 648 (Regular Session, 2011)|
|During 2011, the Department of Housing and Community Development and the Department of Rehabilitative Services established an advisory work group to assist in responding to the direction provided by HJR 648. The HJR 648 Work Group met twice during 2011. To complete its work, it has scheduled two additional meetings for March and April 2012.|
During 2011, the Work Group focused its initial efforts on sharing information and perspectives while reviewing the current state of activities, programs and regulations that address accessibility. The Work Group identified issues that should receive immediate attention and that appeared amenable to the development of a set of consensus recommendations. To accomplish this task, the Work Group established sub-groups to develop specific code changes and policy recommendations over the next three months that would then be embodied into the final HJR 648 report to the General Assembly.
The areas under review will include the:
• Development of proposed changes to the Uniform State Building Code (USBC);
• Review of the costs associated with retroactive and prospective construction mandates;
• Exploration of the use of various incentives and market-driven initiatives encouraging the greater use of visitability and universal design elements in new one- and two-family construction, and;
• Consideration of whether the Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA) barrier removal requirements should be incorporated into the USBC. This consideration would address how such requirements could be implemented in existing buildings after weighing the legal, technical and cost concerns that would have to be addressed in order to achieve a consensus on appropriate actions.
With respect to incentives to encourage the greater use of universal design and visitability features, the Work Group agreed that that this constituted a significant challenge for both the near and long-term. The importance of expanding stakeholder awareness of existing incentives through more frequent and formal outreach efforts was identified as an important concern. Work Group members noted that several extant ideas and programs can be or are already being used today to increase the accessibility of one- and two-family for persons with mobility limitations. Forging disparate individual efforts into a more coherent and comprehensive set of activities and programs will be subject to further review and development of final recommendations by the HJR 648 Workgroup and its sub-groups.