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Title 7Subtitle BChapter XXXVPart 3560Subpart B → §3560.60

Title 7: Agriculture
Subpart B—Direct Loan and Grant Origination

§3560.60   Design requirements.

(a) Standards. All Agency-financed MFH will be constructed in accordance with 7 CFR part 1924, subpart A and will consist of two or more rental units plus appropriate related facilities. Single family structures may be used for group homes and cooperative housing. Also, manufactured homes may be used to create MFH and single family housing originally financed through section 502 of the Housing Act of 1949 may be converted to MFH. Maintenance requirements are listed in §3560.103(a)(3).

(b) Residential design. All MFH must be residential in character, except as provided for in §3560.58(b), and must meet the needs of eligible residents.

(c) Economical construction, operation and maintenance. Taking into consideration life-cycle costs, all housing must be economical to construct, operate, and maintain and must not be of elaborate design or materials.

(1) Economical construction means construction that results in housing of at least average quality with amenities that are reasonable and customary for the community and necessary to appropriately serve tenants.

(2) Economical operating and maintenance means housing with operational and maintenance costs that allow a basic rent structure less than or consistent with conventional rents for comparable units in the community or in a similar community except that when determined necessary by the Agency to allow for decent, safe and sanitary housing to be provided in market areas where conventional rents are not sufficient to cover necessary operating, maintenance, and reserve costs. Basic rents may be allowed to exceed comparable rents for conventional units, but in no case may the rent exceed 150% of the comparable rent for conventional unit rent level.

(3) In meeting the Agency objective of economical construction, operation and maintenance, housing proposals must:

(i) Contain costs without jeopardizing the quality and marketability of the housing;

(ii) Employ life-cycle cost analyses acceptable to the Agency to determine the types of materials which will reduce overall costs by lowering operation and maintenance costs, even though their initial costs may be higher; and

(iii) Provide assurances that costs will be reduced when the Agency determines that housing costs are not economical. If assurances cannot be provided, funding may be withdrawn.

(4) The housing proposal will give maximum consideration to energy conservation measures and practices.

(d) Accessibility. All housing will meet the following accessibility requirements.

(1) For new construction of MFH, at least 5 percent of the units (but not less than one) must be constructed as fully accessible units to persons with disabilities. The Uniform Federal Accessibility Standards (UFAS) will be followed. Individual copies of these standards are available from the Architectural and Transportation Barriers Compliance Board, 1331 F Street, NW, Suite 1000, Washington, DC 20004-1111, Telephone: (202) 272-0080, TTY: (202) 272-0082, e-mail address: info@access-board.gov. When calculating how many accessible units are required, always round up to the next whole number to ensure the 5 percent requirement is met.

(2) For existing properties that do not have fully accessible units, the 5 percent requirement will apply when making substantial alterations as defined by UFAS. The UFAS defines substantial alteration as “alteration to any building or facility is to be considered substantial if the total cost for a twelve month period amounts to 50 percent or more of the full and fair cash value of the building *  *  *” UFAS further defines full and fair cash value as “the assessed valuation of a building or facility as recorded in the assessor's office of the municipality and as equalized at one hundred percent (100%) valuation, or the replacement cost, or the fair market value.” The 5 percent rule will also apply to repair or renovation work on a single unit. For instance, if a unit is damaged by fire and extensive repair is necessary, to the extent possible the unit is to be converted to a fully accessible unit.

(3) The variety of bedroom quantities of fully accessible units will be comparable to the variety of bedroom quantities of units which are not fully accessible. Borrowers will not, however, be required to exceed the 5 percent requirement simply to have an accessible unit of each bedroom quantity. In addition, accessible units should be distributed throughout the complex so not to concentrate the units in one location.

(4) All MFH must meet:

(i) The accessibility requirements as contained in section 504 of the Rehabilitation Act of 1973;

(ii) The requirements of the Fair Housing Amendments Act of 1988;

(iii) The requirements of the Americans with Disabilities Act of 1990, as applicable; and

(iv) All other Federal, State, and local requirements. When architectural standards differ, the most stringent standard will be followed.

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