Livable Housing Australia manage the accreditation of the Universal Housing guidelines to assist all Australians to live better and stay longer in their homes. This originated through the National Dialogue on Universal Housing Design established by the Rudd Government about 10 years ago.
It was also proposed to be regulated for up to 10% of new housing to comply with Universal Housing Guidelines. However, as governments get distracted, they wax and wane in their priorities and the concepts for universal housing were variously influenced by industry, but survived nonetheless.
The Livable Housing Guidelines are not quite as stringent as the disability standards, and are graded as silver, gold and platinum levels. They must be inspected and approved under the Livable Housing Australia guidelines. This housing includes slight modifications to 15 areas including easy access, wider hallways, and bigger bathrooms with grab rails. These items are much more cost efficient to have installed in new homes rather than retrofitting older homes.
Depending on the site and the level of compliance, this will add about 5 to 15% to the cost of a new house, but it will also be more suitable for 20% of the population with some form of disability. Not only does this affect the livability experience for the occupant, but this also affects the time in which the person is likely to be able to stay in the house, the variability of the people living in the area, and the ease and frequency in which visitors or neighbours might visit the residence. This in turn then, has a major impact on the makeup of a neighbourhood reflecting the makeup of variability amongst our society, regardless of social or economic strata.