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Livable Housing Design

The Livable Housing Design guidelines were launched by the Federal Department of Families, Housing, Community Services and Indigenous Affairs on 13 July 2010. These guidelines provide awareness within the residential design and construction industry and governments about the benefits of incorporating universal design principles into new housing.  The voluntary Livable Housing Design guidelines consist of three levels: Silver, Gold and Platinum and outline the key features required to meet each standard.  Livable Housing Design guidelines aim to promote the building of houses that can be adapted to meet the changing needs of residents over their lifetime.

A livable home is designed to:

  • be easy to enter
  • be easy to move around in
  • be capable of easy and cost-effective adaptation, and
  • be designed to anticipate and be respond to the changing needs of home occupants.

The Livable Housing Design guidelines were developed by the National Dialogue. Dialogue members have agreed to develop a national awareness campaign and brand for Universal Housing Design.

The members of the National Dialogue are:
  • Australian Human Rights Commission
  • Australian Institute of Architects
  • Australian Local Government Association
  • Australian Network for Universal Housing Design
  • COTA Australia
  • Grocon
  • Housing Industry Association
  • Lend Lease
  • Master Builders Australia
  • National People with Disabilities and Carers Council
  • Office of the Disability Council of NSW
  • Property Council of Australia
  • Real Estate Institute of Australia
  • Stockland
  • Victorian Building Commission

Whilst we all recognise that the housing industry has embraced these guidelines and has developed a plan which includes an aspirational target of having all new homes meet the guidelines by 2020, the Australian Local Government Association’s adopted resolution is that these requirements should be mandated under the Building Code of Australia.  Nevertheless, whilst voluntary at this date, the Livable Housing Design guidelines present best practice guidelines to achieve universal design.

Hurstville City Council resolved on 28 July 2010 to support the implementation of the Livable Housing Design guidelines and encourage all architects, building designers, builders and home owners to comply with the guidelines.  Homes built to comply with these guidelines will deliver better long term outcomes for those who wish to age in place or who need to adapt their homes to deal with disabilities that may arise over time.

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