Accessible housing

An accessible home is one that is convenient and easy to live in no matter your level of mobilityi. For some people with sensory or motor disability, getting around the home can be difficult. While public premises have certain accessibility requirements as set out in the Building Code of Australiaii, these are not always considered in the design and construction of a private homeiii. In the event that your or a family member's mobility needs change, you may have to make modifications to your home to make it safer and more accessible.

Accessible homes provide a safer living environment for people with mobility and sensory difficulties.

An accessible home

Here are some design features you should consider when making your home more accessible for a person with impaired mobility. Keep in mind that the cost for these features can vary considerably depending on a number of factors, including the choice of materials, method of construction, the size of the job, as well as choice of builders or renovatorsiv.

Bathrooms and toilets should have hand/grab rails installed on the walls for easy access.

If you or a family member's motor or sensory abilities become impaired due to illness or accident, you may need to make these changes to your home so that it is safe and easy to get around. Without adequate savings or insurance, these modifications can put significant financial stress on a household. The Permanently Unable to Work cover, also known as Total and Permanent Disability (TPD) cover, from Allianz provides a lump sum payment in the event that you are permanently unable to work due to sickness or injury. This cover can provide for medical treatment or ongoing care as well as help pay for home modifications that are required.

i Building Commission, 2010, Visitable and Adaptable Features in Housing Fact Sheet, Regulatory Impact Statement, Victorian State Government,, p.1

ii Australian Building Codes Board, 2011, The Building Code of Australia,

iii Queensland Government, Accessible home renovations,

iv Consumer Affairs Victoria, 2010, Building and renovating A guide for consumers,, p.6

v Victorian Government, 2008, Accessible Housing Checklist,

vi Victorian Government, 2008, Accessible Housing Checklist,, p.1

vii Victorian Government, 2008, Accessible Housing Checklist,, p.3

viii Victorian Government, 2008, Accessible Housing Checklist,, p.2