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Accessibility on Display at the Department of Permitting Services Inaugural Design for Life Showcase

For Immediate Release: Saturday, May 13, 2017


Montgomery County's Department of Permitting Services hosted the inaugural Design for Life (DFL) Showcase on Saturday, May 13 at the Silver Spring Civic Building located at 1 Veterans Place. Montgomery County Executive Ike Leggett and Councilmember George Leventhal made remarks at the event.


The event featured numerous demonstrations and displays from a variety of building professionals with expertise in universal design. Exhibits included a walk-in tub demonstration, virtual reality 3D displays and finished home models and floorplans with design elements that can enhance any home.   


The event provided information to both builders interested in collaborating on best practices in accessible home-building and residents who wanted to learn more about a new accessible home or a renovation of their present home. Whether the home owner is a first-time homebuyer, just starting a family, an active adult, or a person living with a temporary or permanent impairment; design-for-life elements can add value to the home. The DFL guidelines incorporate design features such as a no step entrance at any door, wide hallways, safe and accessible bathrooms, and reachable counters and food preparation areas.


In addition to the exhibits, the show emphasized information on how to take advantage of the Montgomery County Design for Life Property Tax Credit Program. 


“The Design for Life Showcase shows how beautiful an accessible home can be and how universal design features can be added to any home to accommodate the needs of all residents and visitors,” said County Executive Ike Leggett. “I encourage everyone to take advantage of the tax savings provided by the Design for Life Property Tax Credit.”


Leggett signed “Design for Life Montgomery” legislation - Bill 5-13 into law in July 2016. Leventhal introduced Bill 5-13 in Feb. 2016. The legislation provides tax credits to builders and homeowners for including features in new and existing residential housing to improve accessibility for persons of all ages, including seniors and those with disabilities.


“As our residents age, adding universal design features to homes will become more commonplace.” said Councilmember George Leventhal. “This tax credit will help defray costs and allow seniors age in place with dignity.”

Design for Life Tax Credit Program includes:

• a property tax credit of up to $2500 for installing accessibility features in an existing residence;
• a property tax credit of up to $3000 for making a new or existing, attached or detached, single-family home Level I Visitable (barrier-free entry, interior pathway, visiting space and powder room);
• a property tax credit of up to $10,000 for making a new or existing, attached or detached, single-family home Level II (Liveable) (barrier-free entry, interior pathways, living spaces, kitchen, bedroom and bath); and
• an impact tax credit against the Development Impact Tax for Public School Improvements for meeting a Level I accessibility standard in single-family attached and detached homes.

For more information about the Design for Life Montgomery program, visit

Release ID: 17-439
Media Contact: Jessica Fusillo  240-401-6570