There are often questions about what Fair Housing Design and Construction requirements are actually required by building code.  What does safe harbor mean?  When is a builder in violation of both federal and state/local building requirements?

    To help builders, code officials, building inspectors and others understand what the law requires, WVFHAN contracted to have a side-by-side comparison manual compiled to show the interrelationship between:
  • the Fair Housing requirement, as stated in the Fair Housing Act Design Manual (FHADM) (1991)
  • ANSI A117.1-2003
  • IBC 2006
  • IBC 2009

    The first step is to confirm which codes/design standard has been adopted by the local and/or state jurisdiction. The next step is to determine the effective dates of such adoption to confirm which code or changes to that code by the locality and/or state was in effect at the time of the property’s construction. Please Note: The federal accessibility requirements under the Fair Housing Act became effective for multi-family dwelling units available for first occupancy on or after March 13, 1991.

    The Fair Housing Act Design Manual (FHADM) should be the primary design standard to use for federal compliance in conjunction with either ANSI A117.1, the 2006 or 2009 International Building Code. Which non-federal code to use is determined based upon which of these codes or combination thereof, is in effect at the time of the construction of the property being reviewed. The adoption of IBC 2006 or 2009 automatically triggers ANSI A117.1.

    This comparison manual can be used to review architectural plans before, during or after construction. It also can be used to conduct on-site inspections of properties during construction phases. Inspections during construction are most helpful since any non-compliance can more easily be corrected and at a considerable savings or sometimes, at no additional cost. 

    You can access a copy of the comparison manual here.  This document or portions thereof may not be reproduced in any manner or reprinted without the express written permission of the Northern West Virginia Center for Independent Living.

West Virginia Fair Housing Action Network (FHAN)
(304) 296-6091     844-212-3464 (toll free)
West Virginia Fair Housing Action Network (FHAN) 
Making Housing Choice a Reality 
(304) 296-6091 
844-212-3464 (toll free)