Australia

New campaign to create livable and accessible homes

PARLIAMENTARY Secretary for Disabilities and Carers, Jan McLucas this week highlighted the benefits of designing homes that are more accessible for people with disability at the official launch of Livable Housing Australia at Parliament House, Canberra.

Livable Housing Australia (LHA) is a not-for-profit organisation established to encourage Australians constructing new homes to comply with design standards to meet the changing needs of home occupants across their lifetime.

"Universal housing design is about making our homes easier and safer to live in - for people with a disability, families with young children, people with temporary injuries and senior Australians," Ms McLucas said.

"Incorporating these design principles puts a premium on the property that will assist in resale. There are returns for both homeowners and the broader community."

LHA aims to promote greater understanding of the value of universal housing design practices and has developed guidelines to help guide the residential and building industry and all levels of government.

It will target the housing industry to achieve the Livable Housing Design Quality Mark as part of a national campaign to ensure all new homes are safer, more comfortable and easier to get around by 2020.

It is hoped that the Livable Housing Design Quality Mark will become a trusted measure of livability for consumers and the housing industry, with Silver, Gold and Platinum performance ratings based on practical, common sense guidelines to livability.

LHA Chair Peter Verwer said the organisation will work with industry leaders to adopt seven critical design features to help make homes not only easier to access and live in, but more cost-effective to adapt when life's circumstances change.

"Livable Housing Australia champions the adoption of seven critical 'livable' design features that help make homes easier to access, navigate and live in, as well more cost-effective to adapt when life's circumstances change," Mr Verwer said.

More information is available from the Livable Housing Australia website at <http://livablehousingaustralia.org.au/>.

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