Accessibility in housing is not mandated in Australia. This means new housing are likely not to have features to enable use by people through their life stages. The ANUHD are actively working to change that.
Assessing the net benefit to society
In response to ANUHD advocacy to the Building Ministers Forum, the Australian Building Codes Board (ABCB) is undertaking a Regulatory Impact Statement for an access standard for all new housing to be included in the National Construction Code.
A robust Regulatory Impact Statement identifies the most efficient and effective solution, that provides the greatest net benefit to the community.
It should ask if an access standard will:
- improve safety and health; amenity and accessibility; and sustainability of the dwelling
- support relevant policy objectives, such as the National Disability Strategy, enabling ageing in place, reducing social exclusion and reducing institutional care
- be capable of being applied to all new dwellings
- be the minimum level of regulation necessary to achieve the above.
It should consider:
- the Livable Housing Design Guidelines Silver and Gold level as options for these standards
- additional options identified through consultation.
Some options were outlined and accompanied by a national consultation in 2018. The result of that consultation is the Options Paper Consultation Report.
The ABCB has appointed The Centre for International Economics to complete the Consultation RIS by 3 April 2020. which will be available shortly for public comment. After the consultation process, a Final ‘decision’ RIS will be submitted to government to help them to decide if they will change the NCC.
Changing the National Construction Code
If government agrees to proposed changes to the NCC, the changes will occur on
1st May 2022.
The change process in detail
For more information on key dates and releases, see the Accessible Housing Project on the ABCB website.
See some examples of best practice guidelines and accessible building design.