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Accessible housing options

What are the accessible housing options being considered?

The Building Ministers’ Forum requested the ABCB assess the Liveable Housing Design Guidelines (LHDG) as a basis for potential accessible housing features for all new houses and apartments.

The Consultation RIS reviews 6 potential accessible housing options:

  • Option 1 Adopting the Silver LHDG design features for all houses and apartments
  • Option 2 Adopting the Gold LHDG design features for all houses and apartments
  • Option 3 Adopting a combination of LHDG design features for all houses and apartments
  • Option 4 Adopting the Gold LHDG design features for apartments only
  • Option 5 Enhanced voluntary option incorporating direct subsidies for households requiring tailored support
  • Option 6 Publication of the LHD Guidelines as a voluntary ABCB handbook and creation of a real estate match making service.

What are the mandatory accessible housing features being considered?

Option 1 and 4 propose adopting the Silver LHDG features which include a step free entry to a house (from the boundary or garage), wider hallways and doorways, toilets or bathrooms on the ground floor or entrance level, reinforcing of bathroom walls for future installation of grabrails, step free showers and circulation spaces in bathrooms and toilets. Additional features are included in Option 2 and 3. 

What does the RIS recommend?

The RIS does not provide make a recommendation. 

It does include a conclusion that based on the evidence gathered, the costs associated with mandatory accessible housing features in the NCC would outweigh the benefits. The RIS suggests a combination of non-regulatory options could be delivered at low cost and encourage additional uptake without imposing excessive costs on all new dwellings.

How did we get here?

In 2017 Building Ministers nationally requested that the ABCB undertake a process to consider potential regulation of accessible housing features for all new houses and apartments in the NCC. The request asked that the ABCB use the Liveable Housing Design Guidelines (silver and gold levels).

In 2018 the ABCB published an Options Paper with a range of potential regulatory options and sought feedback. This Paper set out indicative costs to incorporate the livable housing features based on simple sites through to difficult sites. HIA provided a comprehensive response to the Options Paper.