Home modifications: improving housing stock

Michael Bleasdale of Home Modifications Australia presented a paper on home modifications at the universal design conference in Nagoya, Japan last December. With co-author Paul Smith from Foundations (UK) the paper aims to identify best practice in applying grant systems and funding models that successfully address the policy and budgetary challenges of enabling people to age in place. The title of the paper is, The contribution of home modifications to age-friendly communities: improving the current housing stock. With consumer-based funding models being established, services such as home modifications will be based on a market-based model rather than a social service model. See also the call for papers for the Home Modifications Conference 2017.

Editor’s note: While the authors mention the “percentage of newly built housing (around 2% in Australia, 220,00 dwellings in 2015)” as being a relatively small figure, it should be remembered that this is an annual figure. This means 200,000 dwellings a year becomes 2 million dwellings in ten years. If all new housing were built with basic access features suitable for most people, eventually we would no longer be creating homes that need government money to make them suitable for ageing in place, or at a minimum, make them visitable for people using mobility devices.

Picture: The picture shows a newly built home with steps to the front door. While the garage is providing level entry at the front, it has steps at the back for entry into the house. The front entry could have been made level with the garage.