Nicholas A. Majett, director of the D.C. Department of Consumer and Regulatory Affairs (DCRA), may be correct that the city has not issued building permits that violate accessibility standards [“Housing discrimination lingers,” Metro, July 15]. The question is: Which standards?

In a 2005 fair-housing study, the Urban Institute reported that the District’s new multifamily buildings did not always comply with accessibility standards in the national Fair Housing Act. The problem was that the District government had no authority to enforce these federal requirements. The standards could be applied only through legal action taken after construction was completed, which can result in costly changes to existing buildings.

A more efficient solution would be to incorporate the federal accessibility standards directly into the District’s building codes. This would allow DCRA to conduct a full accessibility review of building permit applications and address any deficiencies before construction begins, resulting in greater compliance with existing national standards and more housing that is accessible to the disabled.

Peter A. Tatian, Washington

The writer is a senior research associate at the Urban Institute.