December 16, 2008

Emergency Transportable Housing Advisory Committee

  • Advocacy Center
  • Coalition for Citizens with Disabilities
  • Department of Housing and Urban Development
  • Department of Justice
  • Federal Emergency Management Agency
  • Manufactured Housing Association for Regulatory Reform
  • Manufactured Housing Institute
  • National Center for Environmental Health Strategies
  • National Council on Independent Living
  • National Fire Protection Association
  • Recreational Park Trailer Industry Association
  • Recreational Vehicle Industry Association
  • United Spinal Association

The Board’s Advisory Committee on Emergency Transportable Housing presented its report at a meeting of the Board on November 18th. The Board organized this committee in 2007 to develop recommendations on access to temporary emergency housing provided in response to natural disasters and emergencies. Housing made available by FEMA in response to Hurricanes Katrina and Rita exposed significant accessibility issues.

The committee, which included representatives from disability groups, industry and code groups, and government agencies, reviewed the Board’s ADA and ABA Accessibility Guidelines and assessed the impact of site constraints and other limitations on units, particularly those located on private property. Since they are designed and manufactured for transport over roadways, these housing units have a smaller footprint than other types of housing. The committee examined design factors that pose challenges to accessibility, including size and space limitations, and identified relevant provisions in the Board’s facility guidelines that should be revised for specific application to emergency transportable housing. The committee’s report provides recommendations on how potential conflicts can be mediated and how access to units can be improved.

The submitted recommendations, which the committee adopted by consensus, offer specific revisions to the guidelines for the Board’ consideration. The committee’s report defines the type of units covered and offers guidance on the proportion that should be accessible. The committee also addressed ramp access to units and recommends that certain ramp specifications be modified to facilitate compliance where site constraints exist. Recommendations on floor surfaces, kitchen elements and spaces, bedroom clearances and light controls, and bathing facilities are intended to improve unit accessibility. The report also addresses operable parts, door pulls and thresholds, smoke alarm systems, slide-outs, and weather alert systems.

Information on the work of this committee is posted on the committee's homepage. For further information, contact Marsha Mazz at This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it., (202) 272-0020