If you're a real estate professional, facilitating and marketing accessible housing for seniors and the disabled is in your future, if you haven't already encountered it in your real estate practice.
But in some parts of the nation, an agent may encounter a noticeable lack of resources out there available to agents and brokers who wish to identify accessible properties for buyers. And there are also barriers to the agent who wishes to market a seller's property with an emphasis on its accessibility features.
When an agent is forced to spend days measuring doorway widths in dozens of homes in order to find just a handful that will accommodate a wheelchair, that can be frustrating and time-consuming. If you work with seniors or disabled persons, you need information in order to serve your clients.
An Accessibility Features Report is simply a supplemental property condition report. It provides essential information for agents and their clients with accessibility needs.
Some of the features which may appear in an Accessibility Features Report:
Ramped or level dwelling entrance
First floor bedroom
First floor full bath
Lipless stall shower
Grab bars in bathroom
Low-pile or no carpeting
Hallway width of 36" or more
Door openings of 36" or more
The best way to get your area Realtor association to adopt the idea of a Disability Features Report is to encourage your MLS to create one and to teach members how to use it.
Our Wisconsin Realtors Association (WRA) Equal Opportunity in Housing Committeeis currently working on crafting a standardized Accessibility Features Report for use in our regional MLS. An Accessibility Features Report can already be found in the Wisconsin ZipForm library. The Wisconsin REALTORS Association Customers with Disabilities Resource page also has an AFR form here.
The U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development (HUD) is also taking considerable interest in this situation. Fair Housing Accessibility FIRST is a HUD initiative designed to promote compliance with Fair Housing Act design and construction requirements.