All new housing should be designed for accessibility to the silver level of the Livable Housing Design Guidelines. This is one of the recommended policy actions from AHURI research on housing and Indigenous disability. A systematic inspection process for new builds to ensure compliance with the guidelines is also needed. They also recommend a new classification in the building code for “housing for Indigenous people”.
Researchers found housing conditions were poor, inaccessible and that few people were aware of modifications for making life easier.
Indigenous Australians have a high rate of disability and chronic illness but there is little housing available to support them. Disability is under-reported in this population, particularly in remote areas. This is because the concept of disability varies between urban and rural locations. In urban areas where people know about the NDIS their understanding of disability is similar to the non-indigenous population. Remote communities relate to disability as wheelchairs.
The title of the executive summary is, Housing and Indigenous disability: lived experiences of housing and community infrastructure. The AHURI website has the full report, a positioning paper and a policy bulletin.
Note that since this publication, the Livable Housing Design Standard has been mandated in the 2022 National Construction Code. It has the Silver features of the Livable Housing Design Guidelines.