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NT Shelter supports mandatory access standards in National Construction Code 

NT Shelter is supporting the Building Better Homes campaign for mandatory accessibility standards in the National Building Code to ensure all Australians have access to appropriate housing.

Since 2011, only 5% of the Council of Australian Governments (COAG)’s target that all new builds meet universal design standards by 2020 has been reached. Voluntary guidelines have not worked and are not meeting the housing needs of people with a disability, senior Australians, or those otherwise mobility impaired.

NT Shelter has written to Northern Territory Government Minister for Infrastructure, Planning and Logistics, the Hon Eva Lawler MLA seeking her commitment to the inclusion of mandatory access standards in the National Construction Code. Building ministers from all Australian states and territories will be meeting in coming weeks to decide whether to make it compulsory for new house builds to have minimum standards for people who are mobility impaired or want to be able to live well in their homes as they age. We support Livable Housing Australia’s gold standard as the appropriate benchmark for good design for elements such as dwelling access, door widths, clearances for toilets and bathrooms, living spaces, flooring, and heights for windowsills, taps and switches.

The Building Better Homes campaign, supported by many other housing and disability peaks and advocates across Australia, is seeking the support of organisations and individuals to ensure housing is accessible for all Australians.

Mandatory accessibility standards will give Australians with disability greater choice about where and how to live; older Australians will be able choose whether to age at home; and wider doors and hallways, stepless entries and open planning will make life at home more sustainable for everyone.

To support the campaign and to learn more, visit their site www.buildingbetterhomes.org.au.

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