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The future of Livable Housing

Homes that are designed to met the changing needs of occupants over their lifetime.

There is a 60% chance that a new house will be occupied by someone with a disability or an accessibility need at some point in its lifetime.

The topic of livable housing is relevant for everyone regardless of ability, age or location. Consider, for example, how you might use your home in the event you broke your leg and required a wheelchair, or how your elderly parent will access your home if they need a walking aid or lost their vision. The market for livable, adaptable, accessible homes is going to boom exponentially due to the increasing ageing population, longer life expectancies and better disability funding Australia wide.

The cost to the homeowner of including key livable housing design features (in this case the silver level) is 22 times more efficient than retrofitting when an unplanned need arises.

People in Australia living with a disability

People in Australia living with a severe disability

People in Australia caring for someone with a disability

Chance that a new house will be occupied by someone with a disability in its lifetime.

The number of people 65 and over has more than tripled in the last 50 years, rising to 3.4 Million in 20142.

The Master Builders and Housing Industry Association (HIA) estimates, including base level Livable housing features would add approximately $3,600 to $4,700 to the cost of a new house. In comparison, major modifications such as those to a bathroom, kitchen or the installation of ramps cost on average, $10,600 and can take up to 100 days for completion.

Considering the Livable Housing guidelines before you begin building a new home ensure your new home can be accessed by everyone, regardless of their abilities.

Livable Housing and Specialist Disability Accomodation (SDA)

Specialist Disability Accommodation (SDA) is housing that has been specially designed for people who are unable to live in mainstream housing due to their extreme functional impairment or very high support needs.

For accomodation to be suitable for SDA participants, it must comply with certain standards and characteristics that meet participants’ needs and the nature of their disability.

There are 5 broad categories of SDA design, each of which is assessed against a relevant Livable Housing Australia design standard. To have a home certified for SDA, talk to us about having the home certified to one of the standards. Read more below.

Why Livable Housing?

Build a home that stands the test of time by ensuring it is Livable Housing certified. Livable Housing is a government supported NGO that aims to ensure homes have been designed to meet the changing needs of home occupants across their lifetime.

Livable and easily adaptable housing design involves the inclusion of key easy living features that makes home easier and safer to use for all home users, including people with disabilities, ageing Australians, families with young children and people with temporary injuries.

 The key features of a ‘Livable’ home are:

  • It should be easy to enter
  • Capable of effortless and cost effective adaptation
  • Easy to move in and around
  • Designed to anticipate and respond to the changing needs of home occupants

Livable housing is not only intended for ageing Australians building a home for their futures, or a person with a disability building a home they can access, Livable housing is about creating a house that looks no different to standard house, but has key features built in that ensure it is or can be made accessible for any person, at any stage of their life regardless of changing health conditions.

Livable Housing Australia (LHA) – a national organization that promotes and monitors the certifications of Livable Houses, report that international research shows that it’s 22 times more efficient to design for adaptability up front, so why not plan for the unexpected.

We see only possibilities and support people to act without limitations - by challenging the speed of progress and shedding light on the possibilities for change.

Lauren HartOptimal Living Therapy

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View our FAQ’s for information on how to refer and eligibility

    Optimal Living Therapy

    ABN: 94625005012

    AHPRA: OCC0001786259
    LHA: 20023
    OT Australia: 946355
    NDIS: 4050042094

    (08) 6117 4266