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tenants rights re: wheelchair access to bldgs

Posted by Jeremy Megraw on October 19, 1998 at 17:22:11:

The front entrance to my Manhattan apartment building (built 1940) is currently being renovated to replace the concrete floor of the entrance. A fellow tenant recently took this opportunity to renew his long-standing request, for ramp-access (he is wheelchair-bound) to the building, be incorporated into the current plans for renovation. He was told it was unlikely because of the costs and complications of altering the design. Are the owners required to comply with any housing codes that mandate accomodating disabled persons? Is his request reasonable in legal terms?
Up until now, he has had to wait outside of the building for someone to help him, whereby he is pushed up two elevations to enter the lobby, and then a third to access the elevator. The owners will not allow the ramp to be permanently installed at the entrance, so he must wait each time for someone to come to his aid. This situation discourages the disabled to apply for rentals, and creates hardship for any currently living there.
Are NYC building owners bound to any ADA or related local mandate to accomodate disabled persons during the design and performance of renovations to entrances even if to an old building?
Thanks for any advice.

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