The Australian Network for Universal Housing Design (ANUHD) has been pushing for basic access features in all new homes for more than ten years. It seemed a dream come true in 2010 when the key development and construction organisations got behind the idea and formed Livable Housing Australia. They developed the Livable Housing Design Guidelines based on universal design principles. However, they only committed to a voluntary roll-out of their promise that all new homes would be designed to the Guidelines by 2020, saying that mandatory regulations were not needed. But that has meant that nothing much has happened except in group homes and some seniors developments. With the advent of the NDIS and population ageing, the need for these features are becoming more urgent by the day.
ANUHD has increased its lobbying activity this year and has received in principle support from Victoria and Queensland state governments to include basic access features in the National Construction Code. Sadly, NSW provided a non-committal response and other states are yet to reply to ANUHD’s call. But ANUHD is not alone in this campaign. As previously reported, an alliance of 800 organisations are also pushing for change.
You can find ANUHD’s position statement with a list of more than 150 supporters, and their proposal for change on their web page. You are welcome to add your name and/or logo by submitting the form at the end of the supporter list.