Feedback and Engagements
“It’s not a house, it’s a home!” This was Darryl Kerrigan’s way of explaining, in the 1997 film The Castle, that a home means more to people than just bricks and mortar.
For this reason regulating a persons home can be a sensitive issue. Equally many people have difficulty finding a home that suits their needs. As the population ages and the number of people who need homes that are easier to access and move around in is expected to grow; governments have determined that it is appropriate for the ABCB to undertake a Regulatory Impact Analysis (RIA) for introducing minimum standards for accessible housing through the NCC.
This does not represent a commitment to regulate, but rather a process to determine the relative merits of such an approach, consider options that might represent minimum and proportionate standards, as well as the costs and benefits.
Accessible Housing Options Paper
To facilitate this exercise, in August this year the Building Ministers’ Forum (BMF) agreed to the ABCB developing an Options Paper on accessible housing to explore options for regulating a range of measures through the NCC, including the possible adoption of either the Silver or Gold standard in the Livable Housing Design Guidelines, produced by Livable Housing Australia.
The Accessible Housing Options Paper is currently open for public consultation. Its intention is to seek community and industry input by way of written submissions, into the objectives, terminology and options that will be considered in a formal Regulatory Impact Statement (RIS) on the proposal. The development of a Consultation RIS is expected to begin in the first quarter of 2019.
Feedback on the Options Paper is invited until Friday 30 November 2018 and can be emailed to NCCawareness@abcb.gov.au. Please include ‘Accessible Housing’ in the subject line.
National Consultation Forums
In late October this year, the ABCB will also be holding consultation forums in each capital city. These forums will provide an opportunity for stakeholders to hear directly from representatives of the ABCB and to ask questions. The forums will be free to attend, although booking is essential.
Dates, venues and booking details are available.
In 2011, the Council of Australian Governments (COAG) set an aspirational target that by 2020 all new housing would be accessible. Now, as 2020 draws near, there are claims that as little as 5% of housing will be accessible. At the same time others will argue that the market will provide accessible homes to consumers who wish to make that choice.
Last year, COAG and the BMF requested the ABCB to undertake a RIA on the inclusion of minimum accessibility standards for housing (including apartments) in the NCC in order that an informed decision can be made as the costs and benefits of regulating for such measures.