Responses from State and Territory Ministers on Building Ministers Forum
ANUHD contests Attorney General’s draft submission
Australian Network for Universal Housing Design contests the findings under
Issue 11—Targets for Universal Housing Design in Australia’s Combined Second and Third Periodic Report under the Convention on the Rights of Persons with Disabilities (UNCRPD).
ANUHD has requested in their response that Australia’s Combined Second and Third Periodic Report under the Convention on the Rights of Persons with Disabilities (UNCRPD) be amended to reflect accurately the current status of achievements against the 2020 target.
ANUHD ran an on-line survey from October 2017 to February 2018 inviting people to share their opinions on how COAG should meet their commitment to the 2020 target. It attracted 1329 participants, the majority of whom were home owners and people who needed livable housing for themselves, their family or friends to live in or to visit.
Seventy percent of participants supported regulation to ensure the 2020 target is met. Over fifty percent of the participants also indicated that an education and awareness strategy should go hand in hand with regulation in order that all stakeholders understood its purpose and relevance. Full Report
Commissioner McEwin told the UN that improving housing accessibility for all is critical to ensuring that no one is left behind through the full implementation of the Convention on the Rights of Persons with Disabilities (CRPD).
“I want to see people with disability live in our communities where they like and with whom they like. And to have choice and control to live in housing that is accessible in the community. Full press statement
The States and Territory Ministers on the Building Ministers Forum have now responded to our Letter requesting they support COAG’s 2020 target. Their answers supported the Regulatory Impact Assessment; however, varied with different levels of enthusiasm for the 2020 target. Responses
As a direct result of our advocacy, COAG,through its Building Ministers Forum, directed the Australian Building Codes Board to perform a Regulatory Impact Assessment for access in private housing. The RIA will examine the silver and gold performance levels [see Livable Housing Design guidelines] as options for a minimum accessible standard; use a sensitivity approach; and be informed by appropriate case studies. October 17 Communique
All States and Terroitory Governments reported to ANUHD on their achievements towards the 2020 target in June 2017, by which time the housing industry should have been providing access in 70% of their new housing. The States and Territories have no reliable mechanisms to identify the take-up of universal design in housing in the private sector. Some States and Territories have mechanisms to identify the take-up of universal design in social housing. Any increase has had little effect as the overall number of social housing tenancies in Australia as decreased to less than 4% of Australia’s housing stock.
Building Ministers Forum agreed to propose to COAG that a national Regulatory Impact Assessment (RIA) be undertaken as soon as possible to consider applying a minimum accessibility standard for private dwellings in Australia. April 17 Communique
Submission to the Senate Standing Committee on Community Affairs
(Delivery of outcomes under the 2010-2020 National Disability Strategy to build inclusive and accessible communities)
ANUHD and RIA submitted that:
- Regulatory intervention is necessary to meet the Strategy’s Outcome 1, Policy
Direction 3 and the commitment to achieve the National Dialogue’s 2020 target.
- The regulatory intervention needed is an amendment of the NCC to include access
features as specified in LHA’s Gold level in all new and extensively modified
- These changes to the NCC should be complemented by education and training of the housing sector and the broader community. Full submission
ANUHD submitted a Proposal for Change to the ABCB to provide access in all new housing within the National Construction Code. The proposal aimed to solve two problems:
- The inability of the housing industry to respond to the National Dialogue agreement in 2010 and the subsequent COAG commitment within the National Disability Strategy; and
- Inconsistency across Australia in what is considered to be accessibility in housing.
The ABCB rejected this proposal because it required COAG approval. Proposal for Change
Proposal to Standards Australia to review AS4299 to align with the 2010-2020 National Disability Strategy
ANUHD proposed a review of AS4299-1995 Adaptable Housing Standard to align with the 2010-2020 National Disability Strategy. This was rejected, because of lack of support from the housing industry peak bodies. Standards Australia are having “round-table”discussions with the housing industry to discuss this proposal. The work has been ceased until the outcome of the Regulatory Impact Assessment by the ABCB. Proposal to review AS4299-1995
ANUHD found that the the housing industry had failed to show signs of voluntary transformation to meet COAG’s 2020 target.
A generous estimation is that the current voluntary approach will achieve less than 5% of the National Dialogue’s 2020 target. Full Report
COAG supports the National Dialogue’s 2020 target of all new housing providing an agreed level of access in all new housing in the 2010-2020 National Disability Strategy.
The National Dialogue on Universal Housing Design agreed to work towards outcomes set out in a Strategic Plan; in particular,
” to pursue an aspirational target that
all new homes will be of an agreed Universal Housing Design standard by 2020
with interim targets to be set within that 10-year period.”
The members of the National Dialogue were:
• Australian Human Rights Commission
• Australian Institute of Architects
• Australian Local Government Association
• Australian Network for Universal Housing Design
• COTA Australia
• Housing Industry Association
• Lend Lease
• Master Builders Australia
• National People with Disabilities and Carers Council
• Office of the Disability Council of NSW
• Property Council of Australia
• Real Estate Institute of Australia