Housing Accessibility: A global response needed

Front cover of the publication, Accessibility of Housing.No matter where you are in the world, there is one thing all cultures share in common: a need for accessible housing. There is a gap between what we know about ageing populations and people with disability and building homes that are inclusive.

The Global Network for Sustainable Housing has a handbook that aims to bridge that gap. As a global publication it addresses slum upgrading, large-scale affordable and social housing programs. The handbook provides concepts, policy approaches, practical information and technical tools. It also shines a light on the global importance of developing accessible and sustainable urban environments. It is time to apply these solutions so that we can gradually outgrow access barriers for everyone.

The title of the handbook is, “Accessibility of Housing: A Handbook of Inclusive Affordable Housing Solutions for Persons with Disabilities and Older Persons” and is published by UN Habitat. This publication has some good explanations of how and why universal design principles and approaches should be applied universally. On Page 9 it explains,

“Universal design principles, when properly interpreted, can be a solution for low-cost projects as its main concept is to adapt the design to all users. Therefore, every project can be re-thought under this perspective, the same way low-cost solutions are created to attend to a population’s needs with small budgets. Universal design provides infinity of possibilities as it allows the use of innovative solutions provided by professionals involved in the process. It is important to notice, however, that some disabilities require more elaborated strategies and occasionally the use of accessories (lifts, grab bars, lighting or acoustical signs etc.) than others.”

the Global Network for Sustainable Housing (GNSH) managed by the UN-Habitat Housing Unit.


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