In the December 2020 edition of COTA Connects, we asked readers to sign an e-petition to support the Building Better Homes campaign. This campaign was advocating for the Livable Housing Design Guidelines to be included in our National Construction Code (NCC) in order to improve the accessibility of new private dwellings.
The Livable Housing Design Guidelines are about creating homes that are:
- easy to enter
- easy to navigate in and around
- capable of easy and cost-effective adaptation, and
- responsive to the changing needs of home occupants.
While these guidelines have been around since 2010, they were only voluntary – until now.
Good news! If you signed the e-petition for the Building Better Homes Campaign, you’ve helped influence systemic change. The e-petition was presented to the Building Ministers Forum at the end of February. As a result, on 30 April, a majority of Ministers agreed to mandate the Livable Housing Design Silver Level as a standard for all new housing under the National Construction Code. Their communique has more detail on the decision.
All new private dwellings will now need to meet minimum accessibility requirements. This change will gradually increase Australia’s supply of accessible housing stock, making it easier for Australians to age in place and exercise choice and control over where they live. States and territories can also decide to upgrade to the Gold Standard voluntarily. As such, COTA Victoria will continue to advocate for further change at a state level.