Advocacy – Building Better Homes
Improving house function is key to improving health. These improvements are only useful if you can actually use the house.
A campaign is underway at the moment called “Building Better Homes”. It has been put together by peak bodies within the housing, accessibility, disability and health sectors who want to see mandatory minimum requirements for housing brought into the National Construction Code (NCC). There is less than a month left to join this initiative.
Healthabitat thinks this is an initiative that deserves support. Sign the petition here + more ways to take action
In 2021, Building Ministers from across Australia will consider whether to include mandatory minimum accessibility standards in the National Building Code. This will be a critical decision for the hundreds of thousands of Australians with mobility requirements who cannot get access to housing that meets their needs. Changes to the National Building Code will then come into effect in all states and territories on 1 September 2022.
According to the Building better homes website,
“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. As our population ages, the demand for accessible housing will increase. Over 80% of older Australians aged over 55 want to live in their own home as they age.” However “Only 5% of new home builds comply with the voluntary Livable Housing Guidelines, in place since 2010.”
The building better homes initiative wants to raise the minimum standard to similar to the Gold Level in the Livable Housing Australia design guidelines, that can be found here.
It includes design criteria like –
- minimum corridor width to improve access,
- ramped entries,
- hobless shower and
- easier to access kitchens and bathroom spaces.
This is not radical changes to how construction works but they are radical changes for thousands of Australians who currently cannot use housing to its full potential.
ABC ARTICLE – https://www.abc.net.au/news/2021-02-11/mandatory-housing-accessibility-standards-australia-campaign/13140476
BUILDING BETTER HOMES – https://www.buildingbetterhomes.org.au/
NATIONAL CONSTRUCTION CODE – https://ncc.abcb.gov.au/ncc-online/Regulatory-Framework
LIVABLE HOUSING AUS – https://livablehousingaustralia.org.au/downloads/