On March 15, Concrete Change hosted U.S. Secretary for Fair Housing John Trasvina at East Lake Commons, a 100% visitable, 67-home intergenerational co-housing community which is the home of Eleanor Smith. Mr. Trasvina had contacted Eleanor after hearing her speak on Visitability in DC and said he’d like to converse further the next time he came to Atlanta. He was accompanied by Ed Jennings, HUD Regional Director for ten southern states, and additional HUD staff.
We briefly toured the community to show how simply zero-step entrances were accomplished on a variety of terrains.
Then we visited a home in the community to see how simply a wide bathroom door can be incorporated into small-footprint house plans. (Most bathrooms are habitually built with narrow doors. For instance, a new ‘mini-mansion’ a few blocks from East Lake Commons has six bathrooms, all with narrow doors.) We then met in Eleanor’s living room, to discuss how Visitability can be incorporated more fully in HUD-assisted new housing in Georgia and beyond. HUD’s Disability Task Force and several task force members from the Paralyzed Veterans of America and the National Council on Independent Living have begun renewed focus on promoting Visitability within HUD-assisted new, single-family houses and townhouses.