The Australian Network on Universal Housing Design (ANUHD) has advocated for universal design in housing for almost 20 years. Finally the Building Ministers’ Forum (part of COAG) agreed to look at the issues. This has been done in the form of a cost-benefit analysis. ANUHD has shared their draft response that contains all you need to know to respond with a submission.
The Australian Building Codes Board results are reported in a Consultation Regulatory Impact Statement (RIS). Bottom line? Costs outweigh benefits. However, this is not the end of the story. But it is a complex one. The Silver and Gold levels of the Livable Housing Design Guidelines formed the basis of the cost benefit analysis.
ANUHD has prepared a comprehensive draft response for sharing. Disability and ageing advocates, housing advocates, housing designers and policy makers can use this as a guide for their own submissions. It will help with finding the way through the complexities.
If you are confused as to why we are still fighting for accessible homes, the answer is in a short policy document from the Housing Industry Association.
Survey – Please respond
The RIS is supposed to include qualitative data, but has failed to do so. The University of Melbourne is filling this gap. You are asked to complete a survey by 26 August so they can get the data submitted by the closing date 31 August..
ANUHD has lobbied for a more inclusive and accessible process to make submissions. This is because the process is geared towards the housing industry rather than home occupants or community advocates. The concession is that individuals can send their personal experiences by email to Kieran O’Donnell at the Australian Building Codes Board.
Personal stories are very important. They will add the missing information in the cost-benefit analysis. The cost benefit analysis significantly contradicts the costs of UD features calculated by Livable Housing Australia – an industry body. They found there was little, if any, extra cost.
You can find out more on the history of this project by using the search term “ABCB” in the search box on this website. A previous post on the costs and benefits has all the links for information and how to respond.
Editor’s Comment: I wrote an article for Sourceable about some of the issues: Australia cannot afford NOT to build accessible Homes.