Our Position

Queensland Action for Universal Housing Design represents industry and community working together towards fair, inclusive, and sustainable communities through the adoption of universal housing design.

Current housing designs do not work for many people. Families with children, older people, people with a temporary or permanent injury or illness, and people with a disability deserve more.

Building houses with simple universal design features makes them liveable for everyone, regardless of age, family needs or changes a person may experience during their lifetime. It also means that they are visitable by everyone, regardless of age or ability.

Older people are particularly affected. Over 1.2 million Queenslanders will be aged 65 or older by 2031 . Most will want to live independently in their own homes, in their communities, for as long as possible.

Well designed housing reduces the risk of injury, hospital visits and institutionalisation. Badly designed housing costs the community in avoidable accidents and hospital stays, expensive modifications and specialised accommodation.

The minimum low-cost features necessary for a dwelling to be liveable and visitable by people of all ages are:
• A step-free entrance and pathway from the street or car parking
• A bathroom, living and bed space on the entrance level
• A bathroom with step-free shower and toilet with turning space for mobility aids
• Reinforced shower and toilet walls for optional grab rail installation
• Doors and corridors wide enough to allow ease of movement between rooms
• Installation of switches, power points and window controls at an accessible height
• Slip resistant floors in kitchens, bathrooms and laundries.

These features cost less than $900 per dwelling in the initial building stage, however to retrofit costs an average of $19,400, over 20 times more.

Queensland Action for Universal Housing Design acknowledges the strategic plan of the National Dialogue on Universal Housing Design, however, to obtain certainty for the industry and a reliable supply for the community now,

Queensland Action for Universal Housing Design calls for regulation for minimum access requirements in the Building Code of Australia for all new and extensively modified housing.

For Our Position in PDF, click here.