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H.R.4202 - Inclusive Home Design Act of 2007
To require all newly constructed, federally assisted, single-family houses and town houses to meet minimum standards of visitability for persons with disabilities.
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November 15, 2007
Ms. SCHAKOWSKY (for herself, Mr. MOORE of Kansas, Mr. BRADY of Pennsylvania, Mr. LANTOS, Mr. DAVIS of Illinois, Ms. WATSON, Mr. HINCHEY, Mr. KIRK, Mr. WYNN, Mr. GRIJALVA, Mr. FARR, Mr. WALSH of New York, Mrs. LOWEY, Ms. BALDWIN, Ms. BORDALLO, and Mr. MCGOVERN) introduced the following bill; which was referred to the Committee on Financial ServicesCommentsClose CommentsPermalink
SECTION 1. SHORT TITLE.
SEC. 2. DEFINITIONS.
(A) is a detached single family house, a townhouse or multi-level dwelling unit (whether detached or attached to other units or structures), or a ground-floor unit in a building of three or fewer dwelling units;CommentsClose CommentsPermalink
(C) was designed, constructed, or commissioned, contracted or otherwise arranged for design or construction, by any person or entity who, at any time during the design or construction, received Federal financial assistance for any program or activity; andCommentsClose CommentsPermalink
(3) ENVIRONMENTAL CONTROLS- The term `environmental controls' means, for a dwelling unit, any switches or devices that control or regulate lights, temperature, fans, doors, security system features, or any other feature included in the new construction of the unit.CommentsClose CommentsPermalink
(A) any assistance that is provided or otherwise made available by the Secretary of Housing and Urban Development or the Secretary of Veterans Affairs, or any program or activity or such agencies, through any grant, loan, contract, or any other arrangement, after the expiration of the one-year period beginning on the date of the enactment of this Act, including--CommentsClose CommentsPermalink
(5) PERSON OR ENTITY- The term `person or entity' includes one or more individuals, corporations (including not-for-profit corporations), partnerships, associations, labor organizations, legal representatives, mutual corporations, joint-stock companies, trusts, unincorporated associations, trustees, trustees in cases under title 11 of the United States Code, receivers, and fiduciaries.CommentsClose CommentsPermalink
SEC. 3. VISITABILITY REQUIREMENT.
It shall be unlawful for any person referred to in section 2(2)(C) with respect to a covered dwelling unit to fail to ensure that such dwelling unit contains at least one level that complies with the following requirements:CommentsClose CommentsPermalink
(i) the finished grade of the site is too steep to provide a path having a slope meeting the requirements of subclause (I) of subparagraph (A)(iii) at the front, side, or back of the unit;CommentsClose CommentsPermalink
(2) ACCESSIBLE INTERIOR DOORS- All doors that are designed to allow passage within the level shall have an unobstructed opening of at least 32 inches when the door is open at a 90-degree angle.CommentsClose CommentsPermalink
(I) All walls adjacent to the toilet shall have horizontal backing reinforcements, each at least 33 inches, but not more than 36 inches, above the floor, and sufficient to allow for a 24-inch grab bar on the wall behind the toilet and another 42-inch grab bar.CommentsClose CommentsPermalink
(II) If a bathtub is present in the bathroom, such reinforcements shall include (aa) two backing reinforcements on the back wall of the bathtub, each at least 24 inches long and not more than 24 inches from the head end wall and not more than 12 inches from the foot end wall, one in a horizontal position at least 33 inches, but not more than 36 inches, above the floor, and one 9 inches above the rim of the bathtub, (bb) one backing reinforcement on the foot end wall of the bathtub, at least 24 inches long and located at the front edge of the bathtub, and (cc) one backing reinforcement on the head end wall of the bathtub, at least 12 inches long and located at the front edge of the bathtub.CommentsClose CommentsPermalink
(III) If a shower is present in the bathroom, such reinforcements shall include backing reinforcements on at least two walls on which the control valve is not located, each at least 33 inches, but not more than 36 inches, above the floor.CommentsClose CommentsPermalink
SEC. 4. ENFORCEMENT.
(a) Requirement for Federal Financial Assistance- Each applicant for Federal financial assistance shall submit an assurance to the Federal agency responsible for such assistance that all of its programs and activities will be conducted in compliance with this Act.CommentsClose CommentsPermalink
(1) SUBMISSION- Any applicant for or recipient of Federal financial assistance who designs, constructs, or commissions, contracts, or otherwise arranges for design or construction of a covered dwelling unit shall submit architectural and construction plans for such unit to the State or local department or agency that is responsible, under applicable State or local law, for the review and approval of construction plans for compliance with generally applicable building codes or requirements (in this subsection referred to as the `appropriate State or local agency').CommentsClose CommentsPermalink
(A) CONDITION OF FEDERAL HOUSING ASSISTANCE- The Secretary of Housing and Urban Development may not provide any Federal financial assistance under any program administered by such Secretary to a State or unit of general local government (or any agency thereof) unless the appropriate State or local agency thereof is, in the determination of the Secretary, taking the enforcement actions under subparagraph (B).CommentsClose CommentsPermalink
(i) reviewing any plans for a covered dwelling unit submitted pursuant to paragraph (1) and approving or disapproving such plans based upon compliance of the dwelling unit with the requirements of this Act; andCommentsClose CommentsPermalink
(ii) consistent with applicable State or local laws and procedures, withholding final approval of construction or occupancy of a covered dwelling unit unless and until such compliance is determined.CommentsClose CommentsPermalink
(c) Civil Action for Private Persons- Any person aggrieved by an act or omission that is unlawful under this Act may commence a civil action in an appropriate United States district court or State court against any person or entity responsible for any part of the design or construction of a covered dwelling unit no later than two years after the occurrence or termination of the alleged unlawful conduct under this Act. For purposes of this section, a violation involving a covered dwelling unit that is not designed or constructed in conformity with the requirements of this Act shall not be considered to terminate until the violation is corrected.CommentsClose CommentsPermalink
(d) Enforcement by Attorney General- Whenever the Attorney General has reasonable cause to believe that any person or group of persons has violated this Act, the Attorney General may commence a civil action in any appropriate United States district court. The Attorney General may also, upon timely application, intervene in any civil action brought under subsection (c) by a private person if the Attorney General certifies that the case is of general public importance.CommentsClose CommentsPermalink
(e) Relief- In any civil action brought under this section, if the court finds that a violation of this title has occurred or is about to occur, it may award to the plaintiff actual and punitive damages, and subject to subsection (g), may grant as relief, as the court finds appropriate, any permanent or temporary injunction, temporary restraining order, or other order (including an order enjoining the defendant from violating the Act or ordering such affirmative action as may be appropriate).CommentsClose CommentsPermalink
(f) Attorney's Fees- In any civil action brought under this section, the court, in its discretion, may allow the prevailing party, other than the United States, a reasonable attorney's fee and costs.CommentsClose CommentsPermalink
(g) Effect on Certain Sales, Encumbrances, and Rentals- Relief granted under this section shall not affect any contract, sale, encumbrance, or lease consummated before the granting of such relief and involving a bona fide purchaser, encumbrancer, or tenant, without actual notice of a civil action under this title.CommentsClose CommentsPermalink
SEC. 5. EFFECT ON STATE LAWS.
Nothing in this Act shall be constructed to invalidate or limit any law of a State or political subdivision of a State, or of any other jurisdiction in which this Act shall be effective, that grants, guarantees, or provides the same rights, protections, and requirements as are provided by this Act, but any law of a State, a political subdivision thereof, or other such jurisdiction that purports to require or permit any action that would violate this Act shall to that extent be invalid.CommentsClose CommentsPermalink
SEC. 6. DISCLAIMER OF PREEMPTIVE EFFECT ON OTHER ACTS.
SEC. 7. SEVERABILITY OF PROVISIONS.
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