The commission today published a new report, produced by Monash University’s Urban Lab, looking at adaptable housing for people with disabilities in Australia.
The report was prepared by the Australian Human Rights Commission in line with the objective of Disability Discrimination Commissioner Dr. Ben Gauntlett commissioned to improve access to accessible housing for Australians with disabilities.
There are 4.4 million people with disabilities in Australia and 96% of people with disabilities live in private homes. Many existing homes are inaccessible and finding suitable housing remains a challenge for many Australians with disabilities.
Improving accessibility to housing can and should be achieved in two ways: by ensuring that new houses are built to meet minimum accessibility requirements; and by modifying or adapting existing homes, which this report focuses on.
The report takes into account design-led approaches and new innovations to adapt, retrofit, or manufacture existing homes to improve accessibility for people with disabilities who are able to live or live independently. These approaches to improving accessibility also benefit other members of the community, such as stroller users.
It was created by researchers at the Monash Urban Lab, a research unit in the Department of Architecture at Monash University that looked at the role of design-led approaches in improving the accessibility, affordability and quality of housing.
Commissioner Gauntlett said the report was a unique opportunity to summarize the work of various areas including design, human rights, regulation and finance and to consider new and innovative approaches to improving housing accessibility for Australians with disabilities of all kinds.
“Barrier-free living benefits all Australians. It promotes economic and social participation, reduces the need for care and keeps people away from care facilities, hospitals and care facilities for the elderly. The ability to convert existing housing stock into barrier-free living quickly and cheaply is an important part of the barrier-free living puzzle, ”he said.
The report is the first phase of a larger project that involves exploring adaptable living space through design research units taught at Monash University to develop a reproducible and systematic approach to adapting to accessible living.
The report is particularly relevant to individuals and organizations interested in accessible housing, including government, top organizations and lawyers, and design students. It is available at https://humanrights.gov.au/our-work/disability-rights/publications / Adaptable-Housing-People-Disability-Australia-Scoping-Study.
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