Universal Housing Design

What is UNIVERSAL HOUSING DESIGN?

“Universal Housing Design (UHD) refers to designing Australian homes to meet the changing needs of home occupants throughout their lifetime.”

The Universal Housing Design recommendations include ‘easy living’ features that aim to make homes easier and safer for all occupants, to ensure the safety and wellbeing of:

  • people with disability
  • ageing Australians
  • people with temporary injuries, and
  • families with young children

A universally designed home should:

  • have easy access entries
  • be easy to move in and around
  • be capable of easy and cost-effective adaptation; and
  • be designed to anticipate and respond to the changing needs of home occupants

Representatives from all levels of government, key stakeholder groups from ageing, disability and community support sectors, and the residential building and property industry have convened to form the National Dialogue.

The members of the National Dialogue are:

  • COTA Australia
  • Australian Human Rights Commission
  • Australian Institute of Architects
  • Australian Local Government Association
  • Australian Network for Universal Housing Design
  • Grocon
  • Housing Industry Association
  • Lend Lease
  • Master Builders Australia
  • National People with Disabilities and Carers Council
  • Office of the Disability Council of NSW
  • Property Council of Australia
  • Real Estate Institute of Australia
  • Stockland

Most homes in Australia have been identified as not meeting the targets of the UHD.  If a family requires for their home to be remodelled to meet the needs of a family member, the cost of essential modifications is expensive, inconvenient, and time consuming.

The National Dialogue Members are encouraging a national approach to the issue of Universal Housing Design. Such an approach would improve access in and around our homes, making them easier and safer to live in for all people, regardless of age or ability.

It is important that the community is informed and educated about the benefits of Universal Housing Design, which is why the National Dialogue are working to provide information about the benefits of Universal Housing Design to the Australian community – that it is about making homes easier and safer for young families, people who have short or long term injuries or illnesses, as well as senior Australians and people with disability.

Further information can be found at www.anuhd.org

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