Advisory 233.1 General. Section 233 outlines the requirements for residential facilities subject to the Americans with Disabilities Act of 1990. The facilities covered by Section 233, as well as other facilities not covered by this section, may still be subject to other Federal laws such as the Fair Housing Act and Section 504 of the Rehabilitation Act of 1973, as amended. For example, the Fair Housing Act requires that certain residential structures having four or more multi-family dwelling units, regardless of whether they are privately owned or federally assisted, include certain features of accessible and adaptable design according to guidelines established by the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development (HUD). These laws and the appropriate regulations should be consulted before proceeding with the design and construction of residential facilities.
Residential facilities containing residential dwelling units provided by entities subject to HUD’s Section 504 regulations and residential dwelling units covered by Section 233.3 must comply with the technical and scoping requirements in Chapters 1 through 10 included this document. Section 233 is not a stand-alone section; this section only addresses the minimum number of residential dwelling units within a facility required to comply with Chapter 8. However, residential facilities must also comply with the requirements of this document. For example: Section 206.5.4 requires all doors and doorways providing user passage in residential dwelling units providing mobility features to comply with Section 404; Section 206.7.6 permits platform lifts to be used to connect levels within residential dwelling units providing mobility features; Section 208 provides general scoping for accessible parking and Section 22.214.171.124 specifies the required number of accessible parking spaces for each residential dwelling unit providing mobility features; Section 228.2 requires mail boxes to be within reach ranges when they serve residential dwelling units providing mobility features; play areas are addressed in Section 240; and swimming pools are addressed in Section 242. There are special provisions applicable to facilities containing residential dwelling units at: Exception 3 to 202.3; Exception to 202.4; 203.8; and Exception 4 to 206.2.3.
Advisory 233.2 Residential Dwelling Units Provided by Entities Subject to HUD Section 504 Regulations. Section 233.2 requires that entities subject to HUD’s regulations implementing Section 504 of the Rehabilitation Act of 1973, as amended, provide residential dwelling units containing mobility features and residential dwelling units containing communication features complying with these regulations in a number specified in HUD’s Section 504 regulations. Further, the residential dwelling units provided must be dispersed according to HUD’s Section 504 criteria. In addition, Section 233.2 defers to HUD the specification of criteria by which the technical requirements of this document will apply to alterations of existing facilities subject to HUD’s Section 504 regulations.
EXCEPTION: Where facilities contain 15 or fewer residential dwelling units, the requirements of 126.96.36.199 and 188.8.131.52 shall apply to the total number of residential dwelling units that are constructed under a single contract, or are developed as a whole, whether or not located on a common site.
Advisory 233.3.2 Residential Dwelling Units for Sale. A public entity that conducts a program to build housing for purchase by individual home buyers must provide access according to the requirements of the ADA regulations and a program receiving Federal financial assistance must comply with the applicable Section 504 regulation.
Note to Reader: The Department of Justice’s ADA standards also require the following:
Facilities with residential dwelling units for sale to individual owners.
(1) Residential dwelling units designed and constructed or altered by public entities that will be offered for sale to individuals shall comply with the requirements for residential facilities in the 2010 Standards including sections 233 and 809.
(2) The requirements of paragraph (1) also apply to housing programs that are operated by public entities where design and construction of particular residential dwelling units takes place only after a specific buyer has been identified. In such programs, the covered entity must provide the units that comply with the requirements for accessible features to those pre-identified buyers with disabilities who have requested such a unit.
EXCEPTION: Where compliance with 809.2, 809.3, or 809.4 is technically infeasible, or where it is technically infeasible to provide an accessible route to a residential dwelling unit, the entity shall be permitted to alter or construct a comparable residential dwelling unit to comply with 809.2 through 809.4 provided that the minimum number of residential dwelling units required by 184.108.40.206 and 220.127.116.11, as applicable, is satisfied.
Advisory 233.3.4 Alterations Exception. A substituted dwelling unit must be comparable to the dwelling unit that is not made accessible. Factors to be considered in comparing one dwelling unit to another should include the number of bedrooms; amenities provided within the dwelling unit; types of common spaces provided within the facility; and location with respect to community resources and services, such as public transportation and civic, recreational, and mercantile facilities.
Advisory 18.104.22.168 Alterations to Vacated Buildings. This provision is intended to apply where a building is vacated with the intent to alter the building. Buildings that are vacated solely for pest control or asbestos removal are not subject to the requirements to provide residential dwelling units with mobility features or communication features.
EXCEPTION: Where facilities contain 15 or fewer residential dwelling units, the requirements of 22.214.171.124 and 126.96.36.199 shall apply to the total number of residential dwelling units that are altered under a single contract, or are developed as a whole, whether or not located on a common site.
Advisory 188.8.131.52 Alterations to Individual Residential Dwelling Units. Section 184.108.40.206 uses the terms “substantially altered” and “altered.” A substantial alteration to a kitchen or bathroom includes, but is not limited to, alterations that are changes to or rearrangements in the plan configuration, or replacement of cabinetry. Substantial alterations do not include normal maintenance or appliance and fixture replacement, unless such maintenance or replacement requires changes to or rearrangements in the plan configuration, or replacement of cabinetry. The term “alteration” is defined both in Section 106 of these requirements and in the Department of Justice ADA regulations.
EXCEPTION: Where multi-story residential dwelling units are one of the types of residential dwelling units provided, one-story residential dwelling units shall be permitted as a substitute for multi-story residential dwelling units where equivalent spaces and amenities are provided in the one-story residential dwelling unit.
Note to Reader: The Department of Justice’s ADA standards also require the following:
Social service center establishments. Group homes, halfway houses, shelters, or similar social service center establishments that provide either temporary sleeping accommodations or residential dwelling units that are subject to this part [of the title III regulation or to this section of the title II regulation] shall comply with the provisions of the 2010 Standards applicable to residential facilities, including, but not limited to, the provisions in sections 233 and 809.
(1) In sleeping rooms with more than 25 beds covered by this part [of the title III regulation or to this section of the title II regulation], a minimum of 5% of the beds shall have clear floor space complying with section 806.2.3 of the 2010 Standards.
(2) Facilities with more than 50 beds covered by this part [of the title III regulation or to this section of the title II regulation] that provide common use bathing facilities shall provide at least one roll-in shower with a seat that complies with the relevant provisions of section 608 of the 2010 Standards. Transfer-type showers are not permitted in lieu of a roll-in shower with a seat, and the exceptions in sections 608.3 and 608.4 for residential dwelling units are not permitted. When separate shower facilities are provided for men and for women, at least one roll-in shower shall be provided for each group.
The Department of Justice’s ADA standards also require the following:
Housing at a place of education. Housing at a place of education that is subject to this part [of the title III regulation or to this section of the title II regulation] shall comply with the provisions of the 2010 Standards applicable to transient lodging, including, but not limited to, the requirements for transient lodging guest rooms in sections 224 and 806, subject to the following exceptions. For the purposes of the application of this section, the term “sleeping room” is intended to be used interchangeably with the term “guest room” as it is used in the transient lodging standards.
(1) Kitchens within housing units containing accessible sleeping rooms with mobility features (including suites and clustered sleeping rooms) or on floors containing accessible sleeping rooms with mobility features shall provide turning spaces that comply with section 809.2.2 of the 2010 Standards and kitchen work surfaces that comply with section 804.3 of the 2010 Standards.
(2) Multi-bedroom housing units containing accessible sleeping rooms with mobility features shall have an accessible route throughout the unit in accordance with section 809.2 of the 2010 Standards.
(3) Apartments or townhouse facilities that are provided by or on behalf of a place of education, which are leased on a year-round basis exclusively to graduate students or faculty and do not contain any public use or common use areas available for educational programming, are not subject to the transient lodging standards and shall comply with the requirements for residential facilities in sections 233 and 809 of the 2010 Standards.