Advocacy

Why regulate for access in all new housing?

A family walk into a house smiling, two children running, carrying groceries
A family arrives home

Housing designs do not work for many people

Regulation will lead to more inclusive and sustainable communities now and in the future. Greater accessibility is easily achieved if included at design stage. 

An increased supply of accessible mainstream housing is critical to the success of the National Disability Insurance Scheme and the Aged Care Reforms. 

The National Disability Strategy supports access in all new housing

The 2010-2020 National Disability Strategy committed to an agreed level of accessibility in all new housing by 2020. With a few exceptions, the housing industry has not responded. ANUHD anticipated in 2015 that less than 5% of the 2020 target will be met unless these features are regulated.  See the report.

The United Nations recommends regulation

In October 2019, the UN Committee on the Rights of Persons with Disabilities in its Concluding Observations found that a significant proportion of existing buildings are not accessible due to the lack of mandated national access requirements for housing in the NCC

The Committee recommended that Australia amend the NCC to include mandatory rules on access for all new and extensively modified housing

The net benefit for Australians outweigh the costs

The Melbourne Disability Institute and Summer Foundation submissions were instrumental to proving that mandating access in housing would substantially benefit Australians:

  • Social benefits substantially outweigh the costs to society. See report.
  • People with disability have adverse mental health effects, require more support, and have reduced opportunity to work, because of inaccessible housing design. See report.
  • Housing designs already incorporate access features into homes, but not in a systematic way. See report.

Activities and reports

Below is a list of the most recent reports and submissions that support the regulation of an access standard in all new housing in the National Construction Code.

Australian Network for Universal Housing Design
  • September 2021-ANUHD submission to The House of Representatives Standing Committee on Tax and Revenue on the Contribution of tax and regulation on housing affordability and supply
  • August 2021 – ANUHD response to NSW SEPP review
  • June 2021 – ANUHD response to the draft NCC Livable Housing Design standard (Silver level)
  • March 2021 – ANUHD submission to Disability Royal Commission: Promoting Inclusion Issues Paper
  • October 2020 – ANUHD submission to the New National Disability Strategy
  • October 2020 – ANUHD submission to the review of Premises Standard
  • August 2020 – ANUHD submission to the Consultation Regulatory Impact Statement for accessible housing
  • June 2020 – ANUHD submission to the Disability Royal Commission: Rights and Attitudes Issues Paper
  • December 2019 – ANUHD submission to the Disability Royal Commission
  • November 2019 – ANUHD submission to the Australian Human Rights Commission
  • October 2019 – ANUHD submission to the City of Canterbury-Bankstown
  • September 2019 – UNCRPD Committee Concluding observations on the combined second and third reports of Australia 
  • October 2018 – ANUHD submission to ABCB Accessible Housing Options Paper
  • June 2018 – ANUHD Survey report released
  • February 2016 -ANUHD Proposal for Change to the ABCB (refused)
  • January 2015 – ANUHD Progress Report on the National Dialogue on Universal Housing Design
Australian Building Codes Board (ABCB) publications

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