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Chapter 2: Scoping Requirements
Section 233: Residential Facilities

233 Residential Facilities

233.1 General. Facilities with residential dwelling units shall comply with 233.

Advisory 233.1 General. Section 233 outlines the requirements for residential facilities subject to the Americans with Disabilities Act of 1990. The facilities covered by Section 233, as well as other facilities not covered by this section, may still be subject to other Federal laws such as the Fair Housing Act and Section 504 of the Rehabilitation Act of 1973, as amended. For example, the Fair Housing Act requires that certain residential structures having four or more multi-family dwelling units, regardless of whether they are privately owned or federally assisted, include certain features of accessible and adaptable design according to guidelines established by the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development (HUD). These laws and the appropriate regulations should be consulted before proceeding with the design and construction of residential facilities.

Residential facilities containing residential dwelling units provided by entities subject to HUD's Section 504 regulations and residential dwelling units covered by Section 233.3 must comply with the technical and scoping requirements in Chapters 1 through 10 included this document. Section 233 is not a stand-alone section; this section only addresses the minimum number of residential dwelling units within a facility required to comply with Chapter 8. However, residential facilities must also comply with the requirements of this document. For example: Section 206.5.4 requires all doors and doorways providing user passage in residential dwelling units providing mobility features to comply with Section 404; Section 206.7.6 permits platform lifts to be used to connect levels within residential dwelling units providing mobility features; Section 208 provides general scoping for accessible parking and Section 208.2.3.1 specifies the required number of accessible parking spaces for each residential dwelling unit providing mobility features; Section 228.2 requires mail boxes to be within reach ranges when they serve residential dwelling units providing mobility features; play areas are addressed in Section 240; and swimming pools are addressed in Section 242. There are special provisions applicable to facilities containing residential dwelling units at: Exception 3 to 202.3; Exception to 202.4; 203.8; and Exception 4 to 206.2.3.

233.2 Residential Dwelling Units Provided by Entities Subject to HUD Section 504 Regulations. Where facilities with residential dwelling units are provided by entities subject to regulations issued by the Department of Housing and Urban Development (HUD) under Section 504 of the Rehabilitation Act of 1973, as amended, such entities shall provide residential dwelling units with mobility features complying with 809.2 through 809.4 in a number required by the applicable HUD regulations. Residential dwelling units required to provide mobility features complying with 809.2 through 809.4 shall be on an accessible route as required by 206. In addition, such entities shall provide residential dwelling units with communication features complying with 809.5 in a number required by the applicable HUD regulations. Entities subject to 233.2 shall not be required to comply with 233.3.

Advisory 233.2 Residential Dwelling Units Provided by Entities Subject to HUD Section 504 Regulations. Section 233.2 requires that entities subject to HUD's regulations implementing Section 504 of the Rehabilitation Act of 1973, as amended, provide residential dwelling units containing mobility features and residential dwelling units containing communication features complying with these regulations in a number specified in HUD's Section 504 regulations. Further, the residential dwelling units provided must be dispersed according to HUD's Section 504 criteria. In addition, Section 233.2 defers to HUD the specification of criteria by which the technical requirements of this document will apply to alterations of existing facilities subject to HUD's Section 504 regulations.

233.3 Residential Dwelling Units Provided by Entities Not Subject to HUD Section 504 Regulations. Facilities with residential dwelling units provided by entities not subject to regulations issued by the Department of Housing and Urban Development (HUD) under Section 504 of the Rehabilitation Act of 1973, as amended, shall comply with 233.3.

233.3.1 Minimum Number: New Construction. Newly constructed facilities with residential dwelling units shall comply with 233.3.1.

EXCEPTION: Where facilities contain 15 or fewer residential dwelling units, the requirements of 233.3.1.1 and 233.3.1.2 shall apply to the total number of residential dwelling units that are constructed under a single contract, or are developed as a whole, whether or not located on a common site.

233.3.1.1 Residential Dwelling Units with Mobility Features. In facilities with residential dwelling units, at least 5 percent, but no fewer than one unit, of the total number of residential dwelling units shall provide mobility features complying with 809.2 through 809.4 and shall be on an accessible route as required by 206.

233.3.1.2 Residential Dwelling Units with Communication Features. In facilities with residential dwelling units, at least 2 percent, but no fewer than one unit, of the total number of residential dwelling units shall provide communication features complying with 809.5.

233.3.2 Residential Dwelling Units for Sale. Residential dwelling units offered for sale shall provide accessible features to the extent required by regulations issued by Federal agencies under the Americans with Disabilities Act or Section 504 of the Rehabilitation Act of 1973, as amended.

Advisory 233.3.2 Residential Dwelling Units for Sale. A public entity that conducts a program to build housing for purchase by individual home buyers must provide access according to the requirements of the ADA regulations and a program receiving Federal financial assistance must comply with the applicable Section 504 regulation.

233.3.3 Additions. Where an addition to an existing building results in an increase in the number of residential dwelling units, the requirements of 233.3.1 shall apply only to the residential dwelling units that are added until the total number of residential dwelling units complies with the minimum number required by 233.3.1. Residential dwelling units required to comply with 233.3.1.1 shall be on an accessible route as required by 206.

233.3.4 Alterations. Alterations shall comply with 233.3.4.

EXCEPTION: Where compliance with 809.2, 809.3, or 809.4 is technically infeasible, or where it is technically infeasible to provide an accessible route to a residential dwelling unit, the entity shall be permitted to alter or construct a comparable residential dwelling unit to comply with 809.2 through 809.4 provided that the minimum number of residential dwelling units required by 233.3.1.1 and 233.3.1.2, as applicable, is satisfied.

Advisory 233.3.4 Alterations Exception. A substituted dwelling unit must be comparable to the dwelling unit that is not made accessible. Factors to be considered in comparing one dwelling unit to another should include the number of bedrooms; amenities provided within the dwelling unit; types of common spaces provided within the facility; and location with respect to community resources and services, such as public transportation and civic, recreational, and mercantile facilities.

233.3.4.1 Alterations to Vacated Buildings. Where a building is vacated for the purposes of alteration, and the altered building contains more than 15 residential dwelling units, at least 5 percent of the residential dwelling units shall comply with 809.2 through 809.4 and shall be on an accessible route as required by 206. In addition, at least 2 percent of the residential dwelling units shall comply with 809.5.

Advisory 233.3.4.1 Alterations to Vacated Buildings. This provision is intended to apply where a building is vacated with the intent to alter the building. Buildings that are vacated solely for pest control or asbestos removal are not subject to the requirements to provide residential dwelling units with mobility features or communication features.

233.3.4.2 Alterations to Individual Residential Dwelling Units. In individual residential dwelling units, where a bathroom or a kitchen is substantially altered, and at least one other room is altered, the requirements of 233.3.1 shall apply to the altered residential dwelling units until the total number of residential dwelling units complies with the minimum number required by 233.3.1.1 and 233.3.1.2. Residential dwelling units required to comply with 233.3.1.1 shall be on an accessible route as required by 206.

EXCEPTION: Where facilities contain 15 or fewer residential dwelling units, the requirements of 233.3.1.1 and 233.3.1.2 shall apply to the total number of residential dwelling units that are altered under a single contract, or are developed as a whole, whether or not located on a common site.

Advisory 233.3.4.2 Alterations to Individual Residential Dwelling Units. Section 233.3.4.2 uses the terms "substantially altered" and "altered." A substantial alteration to a kitchen or bathroom includes, but is not limited to, alterations that are changes to or rearrangements in the plan configuration, or replacement of cabinetry. Substantial alterations do not include normal maintenance or appliance and fixture replacement, unless such maintenance or replacement requires changes to or rearrangements in the plan configuration, or replacement of cabinetry. The term " alteration" is defined both in Section 106 of these requirements and in the Department of Justice ADA regulations.

233.3.5 Dispersion. Residential dwelling units required to provide mobility features complying with 809.2 through 809.4 and residential dwelling units required to provide communication features complying with 809.5 shall be dispersed among the various types of residential dwelling units in the facility and shall provide choices of residential dwelling units comparable to, and integrated with, those available to other residents.

EXCEPTION: Where multi-story residential dwelling units are one of the types of residential dwelling units provided, one-story residential dwelling units shall be permitted as a substitute for multi-story residential dwelling units where equivalent spaces and amenities are provided in the one-story residential dwelling unit.

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