Push For New Builds To Be More Accessible

  • Article by: Sally Wood

Calls for the National Construction Code to include better accessibility standards are gaining momentum. A range of advocates and high profile Australians are petitioning for the change, which would ensure hundreds of thousands of people would have access to appropriate housing.

Why Do We Need Accessible Housing?

Currently, a lack of accessible housing is leaving many Australians unable to access a place to live that is appropriate for their requirements. A 2020 survey of people with mobility impairment found that 73.6% of respondents were living in housing that does not meet their needs. Most people who live in a home that isn’t suitable need to spend money on modifications to the home or require external assistance to come in and provide care in their day-to-day life.

This situation means that people living with a disability, elderly people, and others often can’t pursue the independence they desire, and their quality of life is greatly affected. More accessible housing can assist people to enter the workforce, engage in the community, and require less support.

accessible housing for elderly

Why Change The National Building Code?

The current voluntary Liveable Housing Guidelines, introduced in 2010, are not resulting in enough accessible housing being built. Only 5% of new home builds comply with these guidelines.

This is despite the fact that over the next 40 years, the number of Australians with a mobility limitation due to disability is estimated to increase from 3 million to around 5.75 million. Australia has an ageing population, and many people would prefer to stay in their own homes rather than enter aged care. This will also increase the demand for accessible housing.

As recent findings from the Royal Commissions into aged care and disability demonstrate, our approach to supporting these vulnerable groups needs to change to improve their quality of life.

“People with disability should have greater choice about when and how they want to live,” said Claire Robbs, CEO of Life Without Barriers, a not-for-profit organisation providing disability and aged care services.

A change to the National Building Code would result in more Australians getting access to appropriate housing. More than 30 organisations have signed a letter to Prime Minister Scott Morrison urging for new accessibility standards.

Building Ministers from across Australia will soon meet to consider whether to include mandatory minimum accessibility standards in updates to the code, which will come into effect on 1 September 2022.

accesible housing for disabilities

Building An Accessible Home?

If you need to build a home that meets your accessibility needs, Homeshelf can help. With our extensive contacts in the building and construction industry, we can assist you to find a builder who will follow your exact requirements and ensure that your needs are met.

Building a home that is accessible and easy-to-use for people living with a disability isn’t always easy. But with clever thinking and innovative solutions, the ideal home is possible. Forget compromises on a standard build – your new home should be tailored to your unique specifications.

Whether it’s as simple as widening doors and ensuring bathrooms are on the ground floor, or a much more complicated design, your builder can work with you to create the ideal living situation and improve your quality of life.

Let us help you create a home to love living in. Contact Homeshelf today.

Published: 04/03/2021
Author: Sally Wood