Discover our research framework or check out
the full metrics list

This year, we’ve reformed the Index to focus on unhoused youth and young adults (YYA), aligning it with their experiences and policy needs. Shifting from harm reduction to transformative change, some jurisdictions may see lower scores than before. This is a deliberate strategy, not a setback. Lower scores should motivate, not discourage, jurisdictions. They present an opportunity to adopt policies that effectively tackle and prevent youth homelessness, fostering meaningful progress.

Plan to Fully Meet Need for ADA-Compliant Housing Units

  • Accessibility
  • Priority level

The jurisdiction has a plan to fully meet the need for ADA-compliant units

The Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA) requires that all new multifamily housing properties have a certain percentage of units that are accessible to people with disabilities. These units must meet specific requirements, such as wider doorways, accessible kitchens, and grab bars in the bathroom. In addition, Section 504 of the Rehabilitation Act requires that all housing that receives federal funding must include a percentage of housing accessible to people with disabilities. But too often, these federal minimums are not sufficient to meet the need and there are too many loopholes that developers can exploit. By tracking the actual need for accessible housing and creating a specific plan to meet that need, jurisdictions can ensure that they are providing enough accessible housing options for people with disabilities.

“I was hospitalized and discharged prematurely even when I couldn’t walk up stairs. My apartment had three flights of stairs and no working elevator. I ended up collapsing on the stairs and had to be readmitted to the hospital again because of that. Once I was discharged a second time, I managed to get up the stairs with help, but I was trapped and couldn’t get back out of my apartment once I got in, since I had no help and no way to safely get back upstairs if I went downstairs.” – Rachel Litchman

Key Metric Score Type of Policy Description
1.0 Reform There is a plan for fully meeting the need for ADA-compliant units
0.5 Harm Reduction There is a plan that addresses the need for ADA-compliant units
0.0 Status Quo No laws found
COMING SOON The jurisdiction tracks the number of ADA-compliant units needed
No Data No Data No Data

Cite: National Homelessness Law Center and True Colors United. ", Plan to Fully Meet Need for ADA-Compliant Housing Units" Accessed: June 22, 2024.


Accessibility in housing is a pressing issue for young people with disabilities but should be a pressing issue for all. Everyone benefits from an accessible space – none of us is fully abled all of the time and our lives are richer when we can welcome all people into public spaces and our homes.

“There is rampant discrimination in housing options against those with disabilities. Application processes are too long to qualify for housing and very often people are considered too disabled to live in available housing. You can be kicked out of your housing for being a student. Studio apartments are like shoeboxes – they are not accessible to those in wheelchairs or those who are older.” – Ejay Velez

Priority level

The success and speed of ending or preventing youth homelessness in a particular jurisdiction will depend on how much it is prioritized. The State Index currently tracks whether a jurisdiction specifically appropriates money for youth and young adult housing and whether there are jurisdiction-wide plans to create enough affordable and accessible housing. In the future, we may track whether there are government-funded agencies or employees who are responsible for coordinating and improving youth homelessness services in the jurisdiction or whether there is a plan to end youth homelessness developed in consultation with youth and young adults who were paid for their time and expertise.

Model Statute:

These maps are provided as legal information only and should not be used as legal advice for your specific situation. If you need help with any of the issues described on this website, please check out the Homeless Youth Legal Network (HYLN) directory OR email or call HYLN for help finding a referral to a lawyer.