Housing industry, disability sector and community leaders joined forces at Ropes Crossing yesterday to throw their weight behind a national push for Livable Housing Design standards – to promote the development of homes that can be adapted to meet the changing needs of residents over their lifetime.
Under the plans released yesterday, all new homes will be built to disability-friendly Livable Housing Design standards by 2020.
Labor Candidate for Chifley Ed Husic joined Parliamentary Secretary for Disabilities Bill Shorten at Rochford Place, Ropes Crossing, for the signing of the agreement.
“I’m proud to see the housing industry, disability sector and community groups come together in Ropes Crossing to sign this important agreement,” Mr Husic said.
"This is a practical, meaningful development – designed in a mere few months, demonstrating how goodwill between committed people can move forward housing design to help others in need.
“Ropes Crossing is one of the first roll-out sites of affordable retirement housing using Livable Housing Design standards.
“That means our local area will be influential in showcasing the benefit of livable homes built under these standards to the rest of the country.”
Mr Husic said Livable Housing Design standards would make homes more comfortable for people with a disability, senior Australians, families with young children, or even anyone who suffers from a temporary injury.
"For example, homes built under these standards could be quickly modified to help those people coming to grips with sudden long term impairment arising from an accident,” Mr Husic said.
“These standards will bring some peace of mind to someone who has been through a traumatising event.
“As our population grows and our life expectancy gets longer, Livable Housing Design standards will become increasingly important.
“A few simple design features, such as a reinforced bathroom walls (to help in the installation of hand rails), a flat entry to the house and wide corridors and doorways can make a home suitable for an older person or a person with a disability at minimal cost.
“Livable housing is the way of the future – livable homes are easier to live in, can be adapted at a lower cost, and will be easier to sell.”
The voluntary Livable Housing Design guidelines consist of three levels: Silver, Gold and Platinum and outline the key features required to meet each standard.
The industry has also agreed to a set of voluntary guidelines for housing, which will be used to inform consumers and the industry about Universal Design, and increase its application.
The Gillard Government will invest $1 million over four years to drive an innovative partnership with construction and property sectors leaders to promote Livable housing.
Download PDF of media release
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