Universal Design Implementation Workgroup


“Incorporating universal design elements when building new homes provides a range of benefits for residents. In addition to helping people with temporary or long-term disabilities, universal design elements in a home also helps people age-in-place by providing features that help older adults live independently and with autonomy. Importantly, it also enables people to visit who otherwise would not be able to. As the market has shown, homes built with universal design elements have proven to be appealing to a wider range of home buyers.”

- Prince George's County Council Member Jolene Ivey

The Prince George’s County Council voted unanimously on September 12, 2023, to enact legislation requiring that some elements of universal design be incorporated in certain new residential construction in the County.

Elements of universal design will now be required for at least half of new single-family attached, single-family detached, two-family, and multi-family residential dwelling units constructed in Prince George’s County after January 1, 2026, with some exemptions.

This Work Group was established by the County Council to assess how the new legislation can best be implemented and administered, and what will be needed to accomplish that. This Work Group will also consider if any recommendations should be made to the County Council on ways to improve the legislation.

Universal design seeks to create homes that are usable by as many people as possible, regardless of age, size, ability, or disability. Using some universal design standards in new housing construction will help residents in Prince George’s stay in their homes longer as well as make it possible for people with mobility challenges to be able to visit with friends and family in their homes. 

An average person will likely benefit from living in a residence with universal design features at some point in their life, because disability can unexpectedly affect anyone, whether due to a chronic condition, temporary injury, or simply aging. The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) estimates that approximately 10% of adults in the United States in the past year had a short-term disability that lasted less than six months. That is one more example of why living in a home with universal design features will benefit many people.

Universal Design Implementation Work Group Members

as of October, 2023
Jolene Ivey,
Council Member, Council District 5 Prince George's County Council
Ingrid S. Watson,
Vice Chair
Council Member, Council District 4 Prince George's County Council

Jim Chandler
Assistant Deputy Chief
Administrative Officer, Economic Development

Office of Prince George’s County Executive Angela Alsobrooks
Lori Parris Senior Advisor to the Director Prince George's County Department of Permitting, Inspections and Enforcement
Brooke Larman Supervisor, Permit Review Section Maryland-National Capital Park and Planning Commission

Dwight Joseph
Chief, Construction and Contracts Division
Office of Engineering and Project Management

Prince George's County Department of Public Works & Transportation
Griffin Benton Vice President, Goverment Affairs Maryland Building Industry Association (MBIA)
Marcus Monroe Architect American Institute of Architects - Potomac Valley
Sarah Reddinger Vice President, Community Development Habitat for Humanity
Sarah Baseheart Executive Director Independence Now
Charlesetta Griffin Member AARP Suitland Chapter #939

Notice of Public Meeting

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Notice of Public Meeting (January 10, 2024)


WATCH LIVE: Universal Design Implementation Work Group Committee Meeting (January 10, 2024, 9:00 AM)


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Meeting Agendas and Minutes

Related Documents

For more information, please contact Kathleen Canning, Legislative Officer, or John Sheridan, Policy Director.