New App Helps Builders Meet Accessibility Requirements of Fair Housing Act

Filed in Codes and Standards, Multifamily by on January 24, 2020 6 Comments

appNAHB unveiled the Pocket Guide to the Fair Housing Act, a free app designed to help home builders, contractors and designers meet the accessibility requirements of the act, during the International Builders’ Show in Las Vegas this week.

“HUD welcomes the efforts of this important housing industry partner in working to meet the needs of persons with disabilities,” said U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development (HUD) Secretary Ben Carson. “This new app represents an exciting new tool in our collective effort to help ensure that home builders meet their Fair Housing Act obligations.”

“Through this free tool, NAHB strives to increase Fair Housing Act compliance within the housing industry and facilitate greater access to multifamily housing for persons with disabilities,” said NAHB Immediate Past Chairman Greg Ugalde.

The app was partially funded by an educational grant from HUD through the Fair Housing Initiatives Program. Staff from NAHB’s legal, codes and technology departments made substantial in-kind contributions to the project. The app will enable builders and developers to determine if the Fair Housing Act’s accessibility requirements apply to their housing project and, if so, provide a quick reference guide to the seven basic accessibility requirements for compliance with the law.

“The more informed a home builder is, the easier it is for them to create the kind of housing they want to build while also complying with the nation’s fair housing laws,” said Anna María Farías, HUD’s Assistant Secretary for Fair Housing and Equal Opportunity. “This phenomenal new app is just the resource that can make that possible.”

The information contained in this app is intended to provide a basic, non-exhaustive guide to understanding and conforming with the design and construction requirements of the Fair Housing Act. It is not a safe harbor for compliance with the Fair Housing Act.

The app can be downloaded from the App Store (for iPhone and iPad) and from Google Play (for Android devices) by searching “FHA Guide” or “NAHB.”

More details can be found at

Comments (6)

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  1. Tom says:

    I was introduced to the FHA Accessibility App at IBS. What a fantastic tool! I can’t wait to get it in the hands of everyone at our company.

  2. Ken C. says:

    Great job NAHB! I have been searching for a quick in-the-field tool (no heavily books/binders) to distribute to my employees and subs for years. While I understand this in not a comprehensive guide to compliance with the FHA, it serves a critical role. It will help me understand, BEOFORE I build, if the FHA applies and what accessibility features must be incorporated into my designs.

  3. Charles says:

    I hate to admit it, but for many years I only thought the Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA) accessibility features applied to housing projects. I spent 5 minutes playing around with this App and now understand I had it wrong. The FHA is equally important, if not more so, when it comes to the design and construction of multifamily housing.

  4. Mark Portlock says:

    This free tool saved my hide. Just a few months after installing it I found my subs were way off on several of the required accessibility dimensions at my mixed use project. Quick. Easy. Fast. Accurate. Trust me when I say that everyone in the multifamily sector should have this app on their phone or tablet.

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