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State Lawmakers Establish Tax Credit For Accessible Homes

The New York State Senate and Assembly have recently passed a bill that creates a tax credit for people who want to live in visitable homes.

A universally visitable house has at least one no-step entrance and accesible bathroom on the same floor, as well as 32 inch doorways -- the size of a standard wheel chair. People can apply for up to $2750 to modify a house or purchase a new house with these specifications.

Stephanie Woodward is the Director of Advocacy at the Center for Disability Rights. She says this credit can be used to create more integrated communities.

"Maybe a person with a wheelchair might not be able to live there, but if I want to come over for dinner at my friends house, I would be able to get in. Or, if I want to go to my boss's Christmas Party I would be able to get into his house."

Woodward says visitability can also help people who develop mobility issues as they get age stay in their homes longer.

The bill will be sent to Governor Andrew Cuomo for final approval. Once it is signed off on, the credit goes into effect for homes and modifications after April 1st, 2017.

Veronica Volk is a senior editor and producer for WXXI News.
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