MAY 12 1994 The Honorable Richard Shelby United States Senator U.S.

Courthouse, Room B-28 15 Lee Street Montgomery, Alabama 36104 Dear Senator Shelby: This letter is in response to your inquiry on behalf of your constituent. XX who seeks information regarding Federal laws that may require modification of the sidewalks in his apartment complex to be accessible to individuals who use wheelchairs. The Federal Fair Housing Act is the principal civil rights statute that applies to private residential property. The Fair Housing Act contains guidelines for accessibility to persons with disabilities in residential facilities. For information about the requirements of that Act and information an how to file a complaint under the Fair Housing Act, XX may contact: B6 U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development Office of Fair Housing 451 Seventh St., S.W. Washington, D.C. 20410-2000 (202) 708-8041 Another potentially applicable Federal law is the Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA), which applies to certain privately owned and operated facilities. The Public Access Section of the Civil Rights Division of the Department of Justice enforces title III of the ADA, which covers places of public accommodation and commercial facilities. However, it does apply to common areas in residential buildings, such as rental offices, that function as a place of public accommodation and that are not intended for the exclusive use of tenants and their guests. The twelve categories of places of public accommodation are listed in section 36.104 of the enclosed title III implementing regulation, cc: Records, Chrono, Wodatch, McDowney, Blizard, Novich, FOIA,

MAF Udd:Novich:Congress:Shelby 01-03074

-2at pages 35593-94. Parking, entrances, access routes, and restrooms serving the areas covered by the ADA would also be covered. Thus, if the sidewalks about which XXXX is concerned serve as routes to a place of public accommodation within his apartment complex, they would be covered by title III of the ADA. However, areas and routes that serve only the residential areas of the facility are not covered by title III. Title III can be enforced by private litigation or by filing a complaint with the Department of Justice. If the sidewalks are covered by title III, and if XXXX would like to file a complaint regarding the sidewalks, XX should send any relevant information, including the names and addresses of the businesses he alleges to be in violation of the ADA, to: Public Access Section Civil Rights Division U.S. Department of Justice P.O. Box 66738 Washington, D.C. 20035-6738 All complaints should be in writing and should set forth, in as complete a manner as possible, the factual circumstances surrounding the complaint. I hope this information is useful to your constituent in understanding the requirements of the ADA.


Deval L. Patrick Assistant Attorney General Civil Rights Division Enclosures