New York City Mayor Eric Adams signed four bills that aim to improve accessibility for people with disabilities in city-run homeless shelters and city-funded affordable housing projects, according to a city press release Tuesday.
In addition to creating an accessibility advisory board to advise the mayor, City Council and city agencies on increasing accessibility at city shelters, the legislation requires real estate developers to incorporate “universal design” in all new housing development projects that receive city funds.
“These bills will make our buildings, shelters, and affordable housing spaces more accessible, welcoming, and livable for all,” Adams said in a statement.
One bill requires the city’s Department of Housing Preservation and Development to report every three years on the number of affordable housing units set aside for and rented to people with disabilities. Another requires additional signage at building entrances and exits to indicate the location of power-operated, power-assisted or low-energy doors.
New York City Councilmember Diana Ayala sponsored both pieces of legislation and the bill establishing the accessibility board. The latter legislation specifies the nine-member board will contain at least four people with disabilities who are living in a shelter or who previously lived in a shelter and two people who specialize in working with people with disabilities.
“These bills will ensure better accessibility requirements and make sure that the city has the tools it needs to provide resources for all New Yorkers,” Ayala said in a statement.
Councilmember Crystal Hudson sponsored the legislation requiring the use of universal design principles in city-funded housing development projects. According to the U.S. General Services Administration, universal design aims to ensure that products and environments are usable by all people without adaptation or specialized design.