ANUHD calls for a mandated accessibility standard (Gold Level of Livable Housing Design) because it is what ordinary Australians want—a home where they feel safe and included and where they can age in place.

On Friday 30 April 2021, the Building Ministers agreed to mandate the Livable Housing Design Silver Level as a standard for all new housing in the National Construction Code.

The Gold Standard will also be included in the NCC as a ‘technical referral’ meaning states and territories can decide to upgrade to Gold voluntarily.

Please find the Building Ministers Meeting Communique here:

There is still work to do

New South Wales, Tasmania, Western Australia and South Australia have yet to agree.

Our aim now is to ensure all States and Territories adopt the NCC as soon as practicable, so that all Australians benefit and there are maximum economies of scale and minimum transition costs.

Why regulate for access in all new housing?

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 submission to the Consultation RIS for an access standard in housing finds:

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

Activities and reports

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

Back to top

%d bloggers like this: