Life Without Barriers joins the campaign for Building Better Homes

22 February 2021

Right now, nearly three quarters of Australians with mobility impairment live in housing which does not meet their needs.

Image: Graphic: on the left is "Being able to live in your own home is one of the great Australia dreams. If we make our homes accessible for everyone, that means everyone can live in their own home." written in dark blue on a light blue background. On the right is an Image of Graeme Innes, Former Disability Commissioner in a black suit with a white shirt and tie. The Building Better Homes logo is in the top right hand corner.

Many people with disability say poor housing design means they cannot visit friends and family. In some cases, housing quality is so low that people are unable to leave the house at all.

Life Without Barriers has joined the campaign to ensure the National Building Code meets minimum accessibility standards so that people with disability can have the same housing options as all Australians.

Life Without Barriers is committed to invigorating living choices for people with disability that help facilitate meaningful connections and fairness and opportunity to how people want to live.

Chief Executive, Claire Robbs says, “The Building Better Homes campaign is raising the very real issue that many people are excluded from suitable housing because accessibility is simply not considered. A safe, secure home that recognises people’s needs should be easy to access in our country.

“Bringing a minimum standard into the National Building Code is overdue and a powerful step in creating greater access in housing for so many people.”

A 2020 survey of people with mobility impairment found over 73 percent of respondents were living in housing that does not meet their needs.

Over the next 40 years, the number of Australians with a mobility limitation due to disability is estimated to double from three million to six million.

Additionally, as our population ages, the demand for accessible housing will increase. Over 80 percent of older Australians aged over 55 want to live in their own home as they age, however our supply of accessible housing isn’t projected to cover that demand.

Currently only five percent of new home builds comply with the voluntary Livable Housing Guidelines, in place since 2010.

Life Without Barriers supports over 1,400 people living in more than 400 residential settings across Australia and acutely acknowledges the need for accessibility in housing and will continue pursuing opportunities to support people in new and innovative housing models which maximise choice and independence.

The Building Better Homes Campaign is a coalition of disability and seniors organisations working to change the National Building Code to make accessibility standards mandatory for all new residential homes.

This will change the life of hundreds of thousands of Australians who are currently limited in their day to day activities simply because their housing doesn’t meet their needs.

Many notable organisations and advocates have signed the #BuildingBetterHomes campaign already and are championing the change including Director Graeme Innes, Para Olympian Kurt Fearnley, Disability Discrimination Commissioner Dr Ben Gauntlett and Author Jackie French.

Image: Graphic: on the left is "Mandatory accessibility requirements cant just be a fight for those who are experiencing access issues right now. if needs to be a fight for everyone." written in dark blue on a yellow background. On the right is an Image of Kurt Fearnley, Paralympian, in a grey tshirt. The Building Better Homes logo is in the top right hand corner.

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