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City Adopts New Building Construction Guidelines to help People with Disabilities

By Staff –

The City of Rochester is working with the Center for Disability Rights and has adopted some new guidelines to make new housing construction more accessible for people with disabilities.

The city announced the new “Visitability Guidelines” Friday, aimed at ensuring new one- and two-family housing units are built in a manner that people with disabilities can visit with minimal assistance.

“The Visitable Home Design Guidelines represent an important step toward our larger goal of creating a city housing stock that is accessible to everyone,” explained Mayor Lovely Warren in a statement.

“These guidelines will lead to the creation of more accessible homes for disabled people and allow more seniors to age in place in our community,” said Stephanie Woodward, Director of Advocacy for the Center for Disability Rights. “The Visitability Guidelines are another sign of the City’s commitment to the disability community, and we continue to celebrate all of the efforts Rochester is making to become more accessible and welcoming to people with disabilities.”

The Visitable Home Design Guidelines will ensure that that new one- and two-family homes can, at a minimum, be visited by individuals with disabilities. They have been adopted as a requirement for the construction of all one- and two-family housing units that receive support from City-sponsored programs.

City officials say the guidelines incorporate valuable feedback that members of the housing development community provided at a workshop on housing visitability hosted by the City last spring.

The three main features of the new guidelines are: a no-step entrance; doorways with 32 inches of clear passage space; and a half or full bathroom on the main floor.

To view the guidelines, visit