Building Better Homes Win!

26.5% of the people who access our Home at Last Service to avoid becoming homeless, do so because their housing is inappropriate or inadequate.

1 in 5 Home at Last clients request accessibility features in their home, when applying for Public and Community Housing:

  • 50% required no stairs or a ground floor property
  • 20% required a fully accessible property, including wheelchair access

Universal design means that older people can age in place, regardless of where they live. The ageing in place concept encourages older people to stay in their own homes and  promotes health, well-being and independence.

HAAG has been advocating for universal housing design principles to be included in building standards for many years. Last year we made a submission to the Australian Construction Code’s regulatory impact statement. We joined the Building Better Homes coalition, along with a large number of organisations, to lobby the building ministers across the country to include minimum accessibility standards in the National Construction Code.

On 30 April, we were excited to learn that the building ministers listened, and made the landmark decision to improve housing accessibility for decades to come. From September 2022, new homes in Australia will include seven accessible design features in the Livable Housing Design Guidelines (LHDG) Silver standard:

  • A safe continuous and step free path of travel from the street entrance and / or parking area to a dwelling entrance that is level.
  • At least one, level (step-free) entrance into the dwelling.•Internal doors and corridors that facilitate comfortable and unimpeded movement between spaces.
  • A toilet on the ground (or entry) level that provides easy access.
  • A bathroom that contains a hobless shower recess.
  • Reinforced walls around the toilet, shower and bath to support the safe installation of grab rails at a later date.
  • Stairways designed to reduce the likelihood of injury and also enable future adaptation.

This is a great outcome, and the result of years of grass roots campaigning by advocacy organisations. We will continue to work towards a Gold standard in the National Construction Code and the retrofitting of existing public and community housing to meet universal housing design standards