Representative Schakowsky (D-IL-9) has introduced H.R. 3260, also known as the Eleanor Smith Inclusive Home design Act of 2015. The bill is named after the “mother of Visitability,” Eleanor Smith. Rep. Schakowsky announced her intention to introduce the bill during a rally on the Capitol held by the National Council on Independent Living, and she introduced it the same day, July 28, 2015.
This bill would create a federal visitability law, covering new construction single-family homes funded with federal money, including grants, subsidies, tax credits, mortgages, etc. It also covers cases where the government provides services or transfers/sells the property at less than fair market cost. In short, if it’s new construction that the federal government is involved with in some way, it has to be Visitable.
It covers housing that is not covered by the Fair Housing Act such as single-family houses, townhouses, multi-level dwelling units, or ground floor units in a building of 3 or fewer units.
The newly created units would need to comply with Type C (Visitable) Unit in the ICC-ANSI A117.1-2009 (and future revisions). By following the code book, this bill provides flexibility for future changes on what Visitability would look like.
There currently are five co-sponsors, of which Representative Gwen Moore (D-WI-4) is one. Please contact your federal Representative to request his/her support for this bill.