Visitability and Easy Living Homes are for Everyone

Visitability, sometimes called Basic Home Access or Inclusive Home Design, is a campaign for a few essential features to be incorporated into newly constructed single family home design. The essential features are:

  • One zero-step entrance
  • All interior doors with a minimum of 32 inches (more is better) of clear passage space
  • At least a half-bath (preferably a full bath) on the main floor

The concept of Visitability has evolved into the idea of the Easy Living Homewhich also has three main features, Easy Access, Easy Passage, and Easy Use:

  • Easy Access – a step-free entrance with a threshold of not more than one-half inch from a driveway, sidewalk, or other firm route into the main floor.
  • Easy Passage – a minimum of 32 inches of clear passage space for every interior passage door on the main floor and the exterior door that provides the step-free entrance.
  • Easy Use – no less than one bedroom, a kitchen, some entertainment area, and at least one full bathroom with designated maneuvering space, all on the main floor.

The key to the success of the Easy Living Home concept is that it is access for everyone containing features that are cost effective, attractive, accessible, visitable, and convenient for all persons. The sale and resale value of a home is enhanced when it contains Easy Living Home features. There is now a national Easy Living Home network of organizations that certify homes that meet the Easy Living Homes standard of features and quality, as well as to encourage builders of single-family homes to voluntarily incorporate these features in their home construction.

In Virginia, the Easy Living Home program is administered by Virginia Accessible Housing Solutions, Inc., a non-profit corporation licensed to certify Easy Living Homes in Virginia. VAHS represents a broad coalition of homebuilders, seniors, Virginia State government, and people with disabilities, who believe that Easy Living Homes not only makes dollars and sense, but is the right thing to do.

Builders who are interested in being a certified builder of Easy Living Homes, or smart home buyers who want these sensible and desirable features in their home can contact VAHS for the application process, and/or for information on the program to include a current list of Easy Living Builders in Virginia. Contact:

            Virginia Accessible Housing Solutions, Inc.
            707 East Franklin Street
            Richmond, Virginia 23219

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