State Representatives Nancy Garland (D-New Albany) and Michael Stinziano (D-Columbus) recently toured the Universal Design Living Laboratory to see first-hand the types of home improvements that could be made if House Bill 332 is implemented. As drafted, the bill would provide state tax credits for building, purchasing or remodeling homes and incorporating accessibility and universal design features.
“I am grateful I had the chance to tour Rosemarie and Mark’s home with Rep. Garland,” said Rep. Stinziano, who is sponsoring the bill with Rep. Cheryl Grossman (R-Grove City). “To see firsthand the positive impact visitability features have when incorporated into a home reaffirms my strong belief in the need for this legislation. HB 332 is a step in the right direction to ensure accessible housing is available now and in future years. I call on my colleagues to pass this important legislation.”
Construction began on the Universal Design Living Laboratory, a 3,500 square foot ranch-style home on Clark State Road in Jefferson Township, in September 2009. Universal design is a framework for the design of living and working spaces and products benefiting the widest possible range of people, regardless of size, age or ability level. It provides for accessibility by removing barriers such as steps and integrating features like wider doors and hallways to allow people who use wheelchairs equal access to the house and the rooms within it.
“Not only is the Universal Design Living Laboratory a beautiful home but it is also a testament of what can be done to ensure a home truly meets the needs of its residents,” said Rep. Garland, a co-sponsor of the legislation. “HB 332 will help make it more affordable for all types of families to make their houses a home.”
The homeowners, Rosemarie Rossetti, a wheelchair user, and her husband, Mark Leder, open their home to builders and the public to show how universal design and green building can be included in new homes and remodeling projects.
House Bill 332 is pending in the House Ways & Means Committee.