2004 Adopted Resolutions
72nd Annual Meeting
Boston

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SUPPORTING THE EFFORT TO ENCOURAGE THE CONSTRUCTION OF HOUSING WITH FEATURES THAT PROVIDE BASIC ACCESS AND FUNCTIONALITY TO ALL OCCUPANTS AND VISITORS

     WHEREAS, no federal regulations or programs presently exist that encourage or require individual single-family houses, multiple-story townhouses, multiple-housing unit buildings containing less than four housing units, and other multiple-housing unit buildings located on properties that contain less than a total of eight housing units, to be constructed with practical features that provide basic access and functionality for people of all ages and widely varying mobility and ambulatory-related abilities; and

     WHEREAS, many people if all ages and widely varying mobility and ambulatory-related abilities are discouraged from visiting family and friends because of fundamental design barriers that prohibit or make access to and functionality within most housing impractical to many; and

     WHEREAS, there is very limited number of residences available for purchase or rent with features that provide basic access and functionality to people of all ages and widely varying mobility and ambulatory-related abilities; and

     WHEREAS, the proportion of the general population with special mobility needs who continue to remain active is increasing due to medical and technological advances; and

     WHEREAS, at some point in life, many people incur an extended temporary or permanent condition that results in physical limitations or special needs related to mobility or to performing basic daily life tasks; and

     WHEREAS, increasingly more people are facing or will face loss of independence and having to leave their homes for institutional or assisted care living facilities, becoming more dependent on social and public services because most homes do not provide basic access and functionality features for people of all ages and widely varying mobility and ambulatory-related abilities; and

     WHEREAS, the cost of installing basic access and functionality features for people of all ages and widely varying mobility and ambulatory-related abilities during the construction process is significantly lower than the cost of installing those same features after construction; and

     WHEREAS, a program such as “Practical Housing for All (PHA)”, the purpose of which is: (a) to create awareness among designers, builders, and the community at large of the need for providing basic access and functionality features for people of all ages and widely varying mobility and ambulatory-related abilities; and (b) to encourage those fundamental elements being included on the first or main floor of new housing units that are not otherwise regulated with respect to accessibility features; and

     WHEREAS, it is in the interest of all citizens to encourage the construction of more housing with practical functional features that offers residents and visitors alike, regardless of individual mobility and ambulatory abilities, the fundamental freedom to enter and use a home.

NOW, THEREFORE, BE IT RESOLVED that the Conference of Mayors supports the purpose of Practical Housing for All (PHA)and efforts to encourage the voluntary inclusion of the minimum basic practical features as described herein which a foster independence and enable people of all ages and widely varying mobility and ambulatory-related abilities to function in the residential environment.

     BE IT ALSO RESOLVED that the Conference of Mayors supports promotional efforts such as homebuilder and buyer awareness outreach, prioritized development review and permit processing consideration, and certification and recognition awards to builders that voluntarily construct PHA-eligible housing, including new housing units that are not otherwise regulated by federal or state with respect to accessibility features.