ADA Standards for Residential Homes

Open a door. Walk to the elevator. Press the correct button for your floor. It seems simple enough. For people with mobility issues these simple tasks pose difficulties. Fair Housing Accessibility Guidelines ensure access and user-friendly housing for people with physical challenges.

Parking and Entrances

Accessible housing is important for people with physical challenges.
Handicap parking spaces are placed closest to accessible entrances.

Handicap parking spaces must be nearest the accessible door into the building. A space shall measure 96 inches wide to accommodate lifts and other mobility equipment. There cannot be any obstructions in the parking area, walkway or entrance that would hinder the use of wheelchairs, walkers, scooters or other mobility aids. Doors must open with the least amount of effort, or open automatically. Thresholds from the exterior to interior of the building are to be no more than 3/4 of an inch.


Grab bars must be secured into the wall near toilets and bath tubs.

Accessible bathrooms must provide space for wheelchair maneuvering, including access to the sink, toilet and shower, if applicable. Grab bars must be secured to the walls near the toilet and tub. Twenty nine inches of free space below the sink is necessary to accommodate usage from a wheelchair. Toilet paper dispensers must be in easy reach of the toilet, but not in the way of an easy transfer from wheelchair to toilet.

Other Considerations

Light switches and electrical outlets must be within reach of someone in a wheelchair.

All light switches, thermostats, electrical outlets and environmental controls must be accessible from a wheelchair. A wheelchair must be able to get around the entire unit, with wide doorways and low thresholds.

About the Author

Jody Hagensen began her writing career in 2010. Her work has appeared on Made Man and various other online publications. She specializes in home schooling and natural childbirth. Hagensen is certified as a Doula and Natural Childbirth Educator from the American Academy of Husband Coached Childbirth.