Welcome to The Universal Design Project! 👋

The big idea: 60% of all new homes should be universally accessible.

Why does this matter?

The supply of accessible homes doesn’t come close to meeting the current or future needs of our communities, negatively impacting people’s health, wellness, and economic mobility. Consider the following facts & figures:

Market affected by disability:

73%

People with disabilities and their friends & families represent 73% of consumers.

Return on Disability Group, 2020

Note: everyone should be able to socialize in friends’ & family’s homes.

Homes that should be accessible:

60%

There is a 60% probability that a newly-built single-family detached home will house at least one person with a disability during its expected lifetime.

Journal of The American Planning Association, 2008

Households with accessibility needs:

19%

Nearly 1 out of every 5 households currently includes an individual with accessibility needs.

U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development, 2022

Note: this excludes people who will have accessibility needs in the future.

Homes with universal design features:

1%

Only 1% of the national housing stock offers 5 basic universal design features.

Joint Center for Housing Studies at Harvard, 2017

Note: our Residential Universal Design Building Code has over 150 features.

Universally accessible homes:

< 0.15%

Less than 200 thousand out of 140 million homes in the U.S. can be considered universally accessible.

U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development, 2015


How you can help:

Making changes to our housing stock is no easy feat. Take a look at our misson & vision and then come back here. If what we do resonates with you, here are ways that we currently need help:

  1. If you have direct personal or professional experience with any type of disability, we invite you to apply to be a Design Advisor (application opening again soon).
  2. If you’re an occupational therapist (or are of a related healthcare discipline) and want to bring our Design Collaboration service to your area, please get in touch.
  3. If you feel led to support us financially, we welcome monetary donations. Learn about where your money would go on our donation page.