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Housing Accessibility

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It is important that all San Diegans have housing choices available to meet their individual needs. The population of older adults is growing, and it is imperative to prepare for this demographic shift through housing options that help seniors live closer to services and amenities as they become less mobile. Housing options within village areas should meet a variety of needs and ability levels to decrease reliance on single occupancy vehicles, especially for those with limited mobility.

There are many accessible features that can be incorporated into new units at little to no additional cost. Increased lighting options, hardware that is easily operated with limited use of hand muscles, and strategically located outlets can all increase in-unit accessibility, making homes safer and more comfortable for residents of all ages and abilities. See below for examples of in-unit accessibility features:

  • Raise the outlets - A height between 18 and 24 inches above the floor is ideal.
  • Lower the light switches - Switches should ideally be located between 36 and 44 inches above the floor.
  • Use paddle style light switches - These switches are easier to operate for those with arthritis or an injury.
  • Incorporate lever style hardware - Door handles and faucets with lever-style hardware are easier to operate than knobs.
  • Widen the doorframes - Doorframes should be between 30 and 44 inches wide to allow room for walkers or wheelchairs.
  • Incorporate task-lighting over the sink, stove, and other work areas.
  • Install showers instead of bathtubs - Showers without a step provide an opportunity for easier access.

Housing accessibility examples of paddle switches and lever handles
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PDF icon Voluntary Accessibility Program Regulations