The Washington Court Housing Survey: A Study of Accessibility and Universal Design in Affordable HousingBy University of Iowa Clinical Law Program
(Pages: 43) Publication Date: April 20, 2009
Study explored tenant awareness, use, and benefits of accessibility and universal-design features in an affordable housing complex in Dubuque, Iowa. The study was part of a community-based systems reform project carried out by student legal interns at the University of Iowa Clinical Law Program. Structured telephone interviews were conducted with 22 residents at Washington Court, a 36-unit complex of which 9 units were designated handicap accessible, while universal design (UD) was incorporated throughout the building. Forty-one percent of respondents, including the 6 residents living in the handicap accessible units, reported having functional limitations, 27 percent used mobility equipment such as wheelchairs and walkers, and 18 percent said they used devices such as reachers and grabbers. The study found that half of the respondents derived a benefit from UD features such as lower cabinets, counters, and light switches; lever style door handles; larger, more open rooms and hallways; and bathrooms with roll-in showers and grab bars. Those respondents also said they moved into the complex in part because of the UD features. Study results were found to imply that UD gives Washington Court a long-term competitive advantage over other housing for subsidized tenants. Study limitations and implications for future research projects of the Clinical Law Program are discussed.
University of Iowa Clinical Law Program (Website:http://www.law.uiowa.edu/clinic/)
Link to text: http://www.uiowa.edu/~clinic/