The Register-Herald, Beckley, West Virginia

May 12, 2013

Website listing accessible housing in West Virginia


— West Virginia is at the top of a lot of lists — percentage of the population with disabilities, people over 65, those with work-related disabilities, children with disabilities. But the list we don’t get to the top of is the one of states with adequate, accessible housing.

There is now a resource to help residents locate accessible housing throughout West Virginia, the West Virginia Accessible Housing website, www. wvaccessiblehousing.org.

Over the past few years, a partnership of local organizations, the West Virginia Fair Housing Action Network, has been struggling to encourage builders to consider accessible housing, or Universal Design housing, as a viable market, which could address the needs and desires of veterans and baby boomers looking for a retirement destination, and local residents looking to downsize.

WVFHAN is also pursuing several initiatives to require private and public housing providers to abide by federal and state Fair Housing design and construction requirements for multifamily homes and state building code.

To help promote the accessible housing that does exist, grant funds were secured to establish a searchable database that can be used by everyone statewide to see what’s available in their local area. The West Virginia Accessible Housing website, www.wvaccessiblehousing.org, strives to be a comprehensive collection of all known accessible housing in the state.

The information on the website is compiled through self-reporting surveys of multifamily housing developments using lists provided by HUD, USDA and commercial Realtor publications. The website should be used as a reference only, and has no guarantee of accuracy or availability.

WVFHAN can be reached via telephone (voice and TTY accepted): 1-800-834-6408, via e-mail cchantler@nwvcil.org or by using the contact form located on the website.