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Conference paper
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apo-nid59762.pdf 397.3 KB

Abstract: Current housing design and construction practices do not meet the needs of many people with disability and older people, and limits their inclusion and participation in community and family life. In spite of a decade of advocacy for regulation of access within residential environments, the Australian government has opted for a voluntary approach where the housing industry takes responsibility. Housing industry leaders have indicated that they are willing to transform their established practice, if it makes good business to do so, and if there is a demand from home buyers. To date, there has been minimal demand. In 2010, housing industry and community leaders formalised this commitment in an agreement, called Livable Housing Design, to transform housing design and construction practices, with a target of all new housing providing minimal access by 2020. This paper reports on a study which examined the assumption behind Livable Housing Design agreement; that is, individuals in the housing industry will respond voluntarily and take responsibility for the provision of inclusive housing. From interviews with developers, designers and builders in Brisbane, Queensland, the study found a complex picture of competing demands and responsibilities. Instead of changing their design and construction practices voluntarily to meet the future needs of users over the life of housing, they are more likely to focus on their immediate contractual obligations and to maintain the status quo. Contrary to the view of the government and industry leaders, participants identified that an external regulatory framework would be required if Livable Housing Design’s 2020 goal was to be met.

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