HUD Announces Fair Housing Accessibility Training

HUD ANNOUNCES FAIR HOUSING ACCESSIBILITY TRAINING
Architects and builders will get guidance on how to build accessible housing

WASHINGTON -The U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development (HUD) today announced its 2011-2012 Fair Housing Accessibility FIRST Program’s training cycle. The FIRST Program provides training and technical guidance to help architects and builders comply with the accessibility requirements of the Fair Housing Act. The Fair Housing Act requires certain features of accessible design in all residential buildings with four or more units built after March 13, 1991, including, for example, an accessible route, wider doors, and kitchens and bathrooms that are usable for a wheelchair user.

“Having housing that is accessible makes a real day-to-day difference to people with disabilities,” said John Trasvina, Assistant Secretary for Fair Housing and Equal Opportunity. “We offer training geared to architects and builders, but open to all, for greater legal compliance and living standards.”

HUD’s Fair Housing Accessibility FIRST Program will kick off the first of at least 10 training events across the country starting at the Mississippi Housing Conference on August 22, 2011. This training will take place at the Lake Terrace Convention Center in Hattiesburg, Mississippi and will include an overview of design and construction requirements and other resources to help local communities and developers comply with the Fair Housing Act. To read more about this training and how to register, go to the Fair Housing Accessibility FIRST Website.

Launched in 2003, HUD’s Fair Housing Accessibility FIRST program is a HUD-funded program that promotes compliance with the Fair Housing Act’s accessible design and construction requirements. HUD recently awarded a contract to Chicago-based LCM Architects, LLC, to continue this important program. The program consists of a comprehensive training curriculum, a web site (http://www.fairhousingfirst.org), and a Design and Construction Resource Center (1-888-341-7781) that provides technical guidance to the public.

There is no fee for the August 22 training. For more information, contact John Ritzu at 312-913-1717, Ext. 228.

HUD’s Office of Fair Housing and Equal and Opportunity and its Fair Housing Assistance Program partners receive over 10,000 housing discrimination complaints annually. Approximately 48 percent of the complaints are based on disability. People who believe they are the victims of housing discrimination should contact HUD at 1-800-669-9777 (voice), 800-927-9275 (TTY). Additional information is available at www.hud.gov/fairhousing.

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