The first edition of the American National Standard for Accessible and Usable Buildings and Facilities (ANSI A117.1) was issued in 1961. Since then, the standard has been updated and revised several times; the latest and current revision being the 2009 edition, now called the ICC A117.1, was developed under the International Code Council and approved by ANSI.
Since the International Code Council (ICC) is the current secretariat for the standard, it is referred to as the ICC standard and includes technical design guidelines for making buildings and sites accessible to, and usable by, people with disabilities. The ICC standard is the referenced technical standard for compliance with the accessibility requirements of the International Building Code and many other state and local codes. The 1986, 1992,1998, and 2003 editions of the ANSI A117.1 standard are also U. S. Department of Housing and Urban Development (HUD) approved "safe harbors" for compliance with the technical requirements of the Fair Housing Amendments Act of 1988 (the Act) when used with the Fair Housing Act, the regulations implementing the Act, and the Fair Housing Accessibility Guidelines. The Act is a federal mandate for accessibility in multifamily housing.
Uniform Federal Accessibility Standards (UFAS)
First published in 1984, Uniform Federal Accessibility Standards (UFAS) includes criteria for the design and construction of federally financed buildings to provide access for people with disabilities. UFAS is the technical standard referenced by three federal mandates for accessibility: the Architectural Barriers Act (ABA), Title II of the Americans with Disabilities Act (recognizes UFAS for work prior to March 15, 2012), and Section 504 of the Rehabilitation Act of 1973 (Section 504). The ABA requires access to buildings constructed, altered, leased, or financed in whole or in part by the United States federal government; and Section 504 requires that federally financed programs and activities be accessible to people with disabilities. Section 504 also requires access to federally financed newly constructed and altered buildings. The technical provisions of UFAS are largely the same as the 1980 ANSI A117.1 standard.
Fair Housing Act Accessibility Guidelines
First published in 1991, the Fair Housing Act Accessibility Guidelines (the Guidelines) provide architects, builders, developers, and others, technical guidance for compliance with the accessibility requirements of the Fair Housing Amendments Act of 1988 (the Act). The Act is a law that covers newly constructed multifamily buildings containing at least four dwellings built for first occupancy on or after March 13, 1991.
1. HUD Fair Housing Accessibility Guidelines published on March 6, 1991 and the Supplemental Notice to Fair Housing Accessibility Guidelines: Questions and Answers about the Guidelines, published on June 28, 1994
2. HUD Fair Housing Act Design Manual
3. ANSI A117.1 (1986), used with the Fair Housing Act, HUD’s regulations, and the Guidelines
4. CABO/ANSI A117.1 (1992), used with the Fair Housing Act, HUD’s regulations, and the Guidelines
5. ICC/ANSI A117.1 (1998), used with the Fair Housing Act, HUD’s regulations, and the Guidelines
6. Code Requirements for Housing Accessibility 2000 (CRHA)
7. International Building Code 2000 as amended by the 2001 Supplement to the International Codes
8. International Building Code 2003, with one condition
9. ICC/ANSI A1 17.1 (2003) used with the Fair Housing Act, HUD’s regulations, and the Guidelines
10. 2006 International Building Code® (loose leaf)
Safe harbor standards constitute safe harbors only when adopted and implemented in accordance with the policy statement that HUD published in the Federal Register on March 23, 2000. That policy statement notes, for example, that if a jurisdiction adopts a model building code that HUD has determined conforms with the design and construction requirements of the Act, such as those listed above, then covered residential buildings that are constructed in accordance with plans and specifications approved during the building permitting process will be in compliance with the requirements of the Act.
If the building code official has waived one or more of those requirements, or the building code official has incorrectly interpreted or applied the building code provisions, then the buildings are not in compliance. In addition, adoption of a HUD recognized safe harbor does not change HUD’s enforcement efforts, including conducting investigations when complaints are filed.