Text for Housing Infographic - Rural

[Logo for Research and Training Center on Community Living shows white silhouettes on a green background of a car or van, a tree, a multistory apartment or office building, and two houses connected by a picket fence. These images are set on a sloping hill above the name of the center.]

Rural Housing for People with Disabilities: The On-Ramp to Community Participation

Why It Matters

Participation in the community starts at home. If people cannot maneuver safely in their own homes or come and go as they please, their ability to participate in the community is reduced. For the majority of people with mobility impairments (whether chronic or newly acquired), it is not easy to leave home.  

[Cut-away illustration of a two-story house showing four rooms with minimal furniture and an attic. The house is set against a backdrop of hills with two silos in the distance.]

[text in the attic] Rural U.S. rental households with individuals who use a wheeled mobility device (wheelchair or scooter). Includes 110,879 households in rural areas.

[Image of man in a wheelchair at entrance to the house that has two steps, with a dog standing nearby. The following statistics are placed inside the relevant areas of the house except for the vehicle statistic, which is outside the house.]

  • 69% have a stepped entry.
  • 29% do not have an entry-level bedroom (in units with more than one floor).
  • 17% do not have an entry-level bathroom (in units with more than one floor).
  • 27% are up at least one flight of stairs in apartments with no elevator.
  • 9% live in multi-family housing built since 1990, which is covered by the Fair Housing Act’s Design and Construction Accessibility Guidelines.
  • 32% have no car available, compounding the obstacles to participation.

[text on foundation of house] Data source: American Housing Survey, 2011

Implications for Change

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Advocate: Where there is enough accessible housing, consumers and advocates could use new strategies to get people with disabilities into these units.

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Amend: Section 504 of the Rehabilitation Act provides for moving tenants out of accessible apartments when someone with a disability needs the apartment. The Fair Housing Act could be amended with a similar provision.

[Icon of house, which is the logo for Fair Housing & Equal Opportunity division of U.S. Dept. of Housing and Urban Development]

Act: Most rental units are not covered by the Fair Housing Act’s design and construction requirements. It is imperative that policymakers find alternative solutions to address housing usability and accessibility needs.

For More Information

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The University of Kansas Research and Training Center on Independent Living 

Rm. 4089, 1000 Sunnyside Ave.

Lawrence, KS 66045-7561

Phone: (785) 864-4095

TTY: (785) 864-0706

rtcil@ku.edu, CL Website

© 2014. The contents of this infographic were developed under a grant from the Department of Education, NIDRR grant #H133B110006. However, these contents do not necessarily represent the policy of the Department of Education, and you should not assume endorsement by the Federal Government.