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How To Find Accessible Homes

Published on
March 19, 2021 3:14:42 PM PDT March 19, 2021 3:14:42 PM PDTth, March 19, 2021 3:14:42 PM PDT

Finding accessible housing can be a challenge in the rental and homebuyer market. In many cases, accessible features are hard to find unless you are looking at newer properties. In 2017, a Harvard report highlighted there were more than 7 million households that included a person with a disability. However, figures from the Census Bureau state there are around 19% of the US population are living with disabilities. This is a lot of people! While new builds may be implementing universal design regulations to incorporate accessibility, there are still many struggling to find accessible properties. 

Searching for accessible homes can be a challenge in the private sector, so take a look at some of these resources to open up the options. 

HUD Designated Housing Program 

The Department of Housing and Urban Development (HUD) offers grants to families and people with disabilities so they can rent affordable housing with accessible features. This program has many options depending on where you live. Plus, eligible people can also get access to 30% coverage of rent payments. The Department of Labor also has a program that helps out individuals. This partnership with HUD helps charitable organizations provide suitable housing. 

Habitat for Humanity 

This is a Christian non-profit organization that delivers housing for people with disabilities. Whether an individual has a physical disability or other factors, people are chosen based on their level of need. Anyone can contact a local representative of Habitat for Humanity for more information and find out the process. 

USDA Rural Rental Housing Program

The US Department of Agriculture has a program that helps provide rural rental properties for people with disabilities. The properties developed in this program are designed to ensure a barrier free home. They include aspects such as wheelchair accessibility and an automatic door opener for the disabled, handrails, and emergency call buttons.

Researching Suitable Properties

Searching for a property with accessible features is easier if you ask the right questions. One of the best places to start the search is newer apartments and homes. Since 1991, any new buildings constructed with more than four units are required to have ease of accessibility, so this can make adjustments easier when moving in. 

When speaking to a real estate agent, clarify the application process and consider asking specific details about properties such as:

1) Are the doorframes wide enough for your needs?

2) Is there accessible parking?

3) What types of light switches are installed?

4) Are upper levels accessible by lift or ramp

5) What other provisions are available for extra assistance?

Consider the Location

While you are searching for the perfect property, the location is another vital aspect for your needs. Some areas of towns and cities have large old buildings and walk-ups, which will be difficult to access. However, many places are making adjustments for people with disabilities to have the freedom to travel and commute more easily. Have a small checklist of how the location fits your requirements to get the best spot in town alongside the perfect property.