Your Help Made A Difference to Get Affordable, Accessible Housing!

Thank you to the individuals and organizations who signed on to DRC’s advocacy letter and to all of those who submitted their own letters to the Building Standards Commission regarding the proposed changes to the California Building Code public housing definition.

Your Help Made A Difference to Get Affordable, Accessible Housing!

People with disabilities need affordable housing that is also accessible.

Thank you to the individuals and organizations who signed on to DRC’s advocacy letter and to all of those who submitted their own letters to the Building Standards Commission regarding the proposed changes to the California Building Code public housing definition.

We are so excited to announce that your support helped the Commission see the importance for change and unanimously voted to adopt amendments to the California Building Code that clarify federal and state requirements resulting in increased development of accessible affordable housing statewide! 

We anticipate that in the future the change will help create thousands of new fully accessible units for people with mobility disabilities, people who are deaf and/or blind, and people with hearing and vision disabilities.

Recap of the Original Problem

Currently, federal law requires affordable housing to include units with accessible features for people with mobility and hearing/vision disabilities. However, state law is NOT as clear.

A state commission is deciding whether to change the building code so that all affordable rental housing will have special mobility units and hearing/vision units. Proposed changes to state building codes will help SOLVE this problem and result in MORE affordable accessible units.

What is the problem? It is very hard for low income people to find affordable housing. It is much harder for those people who also have disabilities.

How are accessible units different? The housing is the same as all other units in the building, with the same requirements for admission, except it includes mobility units and hearing/vision units.

Mobility Units have features that are accessible to people who use wheelchairs or walkers or who have other mobility disabilities. The features include elevators or no stairs, lowered countertops, wider hallways and doorways, room to move around in a wheel chair in kitchens and bathrooms, and grab bars.

Hearing/Vision Units have features that make it easier for blind and/or deaf people to be self-sufficient. The features include braille signs, knobs on appliances instead of touch screens, blinking doorbells and emergency alarms, intercoms with both video and audio capability.

Is there a way to help? Require California building codes to comply with federal laws to say all affordable housing have to have units specifically designed for people who have mobility and hearing/vision disabilities.

What change is proposed? The change will clarify the definition of “public housing,” a technical term in the code, to match federal requirements and make it explicit that it applies to all affordable housing in the state.

The proposed change will result in thousands more accessible affordable units throughout California.