The Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA) is a broad civil rights law guaranteeing equal opportunity for individuals with disabilities in employment, public accommodations, transportation, state and local government services, and telecommunications.
Title Ill of the Act covers all private establishments and facilities considered "public accommodations," such as restaurants, hotels, retail establishments, doctors' offices, and theaters. People with disabilities must have equal opportunity in these establishments, both in terms of physical access and in the enjoyment of services.
Title II of the ADA applies to all programs, services, and activities provided or made available by public entities. With respect to housing, this includes, for example, public housing and housing provided for state colleges and universities.
Under Title I of the ADA, employers may not discriminate in hiring or firing, and must provide reasonable accommodations to persons with disabilities, such as providing special equipment or training and arranging modified work schedules.
Some states and cities and counties have developed their own building codes for accessibility, usually based in whole or in part on the specifications contained in the major national standards such as AMERICAN NATIONAL STANDARDS INSTITUTE (ANSI) and UNIFORM FEDERAL ACCESSIBILITY STANDARDS (UFAS). Some states also have nondiscrimination and fair housing laws similar to the Fair Housing Act and the Americans with Disabilities Act.
When local codes differ from the federal requirements, either in scope or technical specifications, the general rule is that the more stringent requirement should be followed. The model codes also have provisions that a certain percentage (often 2%) of new multifamily housing must meet more stringent physical accessibility requirements than required under the Fair Housing Act. In such cases, the mandated percentage of accessible units must be provided and all covered dwellings by the Fair Housing Act must comply with the law.
1 Source: Fair Housing Act Acessibility - HUD Grant Project to assist in the adoption of Safe Harbor Codes for Housing Accessibility
Call (800) 684-9100 for a consultation and ask for Los Angeles construction expert Michael Poles.