Visitable Housing is a movement aimed at changing housing construction practices so that providing a basic level of accessibility becomes the norm. This typically includes a no-step entrance, wider doors and hallways, and a wheelchair accessible washroom on the main floor. HTFC, assisted by David Rapson and architect Lanny Silver, was retained by Manitoba Housing and Renewal Corporation to advance the implementation of visitable housing in Manitoba. This involved developing draft policy recommendations, design guidelines, educational materials, and implementation strategies tailored to suit the Manitoba marketplace. Recommendations were based on research into programs and initiatives from across North America and the world, and consultation with local stakeholders, including builders, developers, regulators, and advocacy groups.
The team was also retained for a two-year term to act as the Province’s visitability consultant, reviewing design applications for compliance with the recommendations and advising the Minister on related matters. Progress has not been as rapid as hoped, but it was announced in early 2010 that a major new subdivision in Winnipeg will include visitable homes. Glen Manning remains active as an advocate for visitable housing and inclusive community design with the Canadian Centre on Disability Studies’ national working group.