The WI Department of Safety and Professional Services considers Residential Care Apartment Complexes (RCACs) to
be apartment buildings subject to the Wisconsin Commercial
Building Code (WCBC) pursuant to the code in effect at the
time the building was approved as an apartment building. RCACs
are not subject to the assisted living/residential care provisions
of the code.
Department of Health Services (DHS) - Division of
Quality Assurance Regional Offices review common
use areas within the RCAC to ensure compliance with the accessibility
requirements of the WCBC. RCACs connected to CBRFs, nursing
homes or hospitals require building plan review by DHFS engineers.
They review all proposed RCACs per HFS 89.22, regardless of
In addition to WCBC, all housing must also follow Federal
Fair Housing law as it relates to accessibility. In buildings
that are ready for first occupancy after March 13, 1991, and
have an elevator and four or more units:
- Public and common areas must be accessible to persons
- Doors and hallways must be wide enough for wheelchairs
- All units must have:
- An accessible route into and through the unit,
- Accessible light switches, electrical outlets, thermostats
and other environmental controls,
- Reinforced bathroom walls to allow later installation
of grab bars, and
- Kitchens and bathrooms that can be used by people
If a building with four or more units has no elevator and
will be ready for first occupancy after March 13, 1991, these
standards apply to ground floor units.
These requirements for new buildings do not replace any more
stringent standards in State or local law.