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Accessibility Analysis of Model Building Codes

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February 28, 2005: Final Report of HUD Review of the Fair Housing Accessibility Requirements in the 2003 International Building Code

 -   March 23, 2000: HUD Report on its Review of Model Building Codes

HUD issued a Report of HUD Review of the Fair Housing Accessibility Requirements in the 2006 International Building Code, published by the International Code Council (ICC). In addition to appearing on HUD's website, this report was published in the Federal Register on July 18, 2007.

The ICC requested that we review the accessibility provisions of the 2006 IBC to determine if the provisions are consistent with the accessibility requirements of the Fair Housing Act (the Act), the regulations implementing the Act, and the Fair Housing Accessibility Guidelines so that the 2006 IBC could be recognized by the Department as a safe harbor for compliance with the law. Because the 2006 IBC references the 2003 edition of the American National Standards Institute (ANSI) A117.1 standard, HUD also reviewed this standard.

HUD's report explains that during its review of the 2006 IBC, HUD noted text missing from one section of Chapter 11, and after contacting ICC, learned that ICC published an erratum on its website on January 31, 2007. HUD's report alerts users of the code about the need to obtain the January 31, 2007 erratum. HUD's report indicates that its concerns with two sections in the 2003 edition of the IBC were addressed, and explains how they were addressed. The report also indicates that in response to a request from ICC, HUD provided ICC with commentary to aid code officials in properly interpreting one section of the code to ensure consistency with HUD's Fair Housing Accessibility Guidelines. The report includes this commentary.

HUD's report states that it has assessed the provisions of the 2006 International Building Code, as corrected by the January 31, 2007 erratum, that relate to facilities covered by the Act, and determined that those provisions, when interpreted in accordance with relevant 2006 IBC commentary, are consistent with the Act, HUD's regulations, and the Fair Housing Accessibility Guidelines. The report outlines HUD's policy with respect to all of the safe harbors currently recognized by HUD.

Having a more recent edition of the IBC recognized by HUD as a safe harbor will ensure that covered dwelling units will be built with the accessible features required by the Act. HUD's report is intended to provide technical assistance to ICC and other interested parties. We are not issuing any new technical requirements by way of this report, nor is this report an endorsement of a model building code. HUD's report does not affect any State or local government laws that require dwellings to be designed and constructed in a manner that affords persons with disabilities greater access than is required by the Fair Housing Act.

Questions regarding this final report should be directed to: Ms. Cheryl Kent Special Advisor for Disability Policy, Office of Fair Housing and Equal Opportunity, Office of Enforcement, 451 Seventh Street, SW, Room 5240, Washington, DC 20410-0500, telephone (202)708-2333, Ext. 7058. (This telephone number is not toll free.) Hearing or speech-impaired persons may access this number via TTY by calling the Federal Information Relay Service at (800) 877-8339.


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