Since the movement towards VisitAble houses first started in the U.S. in the 1980s, municipalities across Canada and the U.S. have taken different approaches to encourage or require VisitAble houses in their areas.

Designing a new home with VisitAble features is more cost-effective than attempting to retrofit a home with narrow hallways and doors later.

For a community, the benefits of VisitAble housing includes welcoming guests who use a mobility device, such as a wheelchair or walker, into residential homes. This helps to cut down on social isolation that can be experienced by people with disabilities.

VisitAble housing is also a benefit to communities with older citizens. As people age, VisitAble houses help residents to live at home longer, avoiding the necessity to move into an institutional setting. A house with a no-step entrance can also help to cut down on the number of falls by seniors, which in turns saves on health care costs.

Finally, VisitAble houses can be aesthetically pleasing and marketable to home buyers in a wide range of ages. Residents may appreciate the benefits as they carry in heavy furniture, bring in a stroller, or roll in a grocery cart. A VisitAble house design can also be useful for residents who have temporary difficulty in walking, for example, due to a broken leg.

The best practices and examples gathered on this website represent a starting point for policy makers. To learn more about the adoption of VisitAble housing, consult the project publications and supporting organizations. These will provide a productive resource to planners, elected officials, academics and advisors, who wish to promote VisitAble housing in their community.

The following additional information may be of interest to policy makers:

Assembly of First Nations – Resolution for VisitAbility

Casselman – Developing VisitAbility Policy

Clayton Trevillyan – Tucson & Pima Visitability Ordinance

DRewniak – Visitability in Manitoba Social Housing

Dwayne Rewniak – Manitoba VisitAbility Policies

England – Building Regulation Approved Document M 2004

IDEA – Visitability

Jason Watt – Vancouver VisitAbility Policy

Jill Weiss – Visitability Policy Analysis

OPantelimon – CIP Planning HC-Housing

Ringaert & Harris – VisitAbility & Measuring Up The North

SSayah – Visitability in Ottawa Social Housing

U of Calgary – Understanding Visitability in Alberta

US Bolingbrook 2003 – VisitAbility Ordinance

US Pima VisitAbility Ordinance

Vancouver Housing bylaw -2013 – VisitAbility