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State Development, Construction and Housing – Universal Housing Design Principles

Cassy O'Connor MP  -  Tuesday, 7 June 2022

Tags: Housing, Disability

Ms O'CONNOR - Minister, as of April 2022 the Housing Dashboard states a total of 334 new long-term homes were built in the past year under the Government's Affordable Housing Strategy. Are you able to tell the committee how many of those homes adhere to the universal housing design principles as outlined in the strategy?

Mr BARNETT - Thanks for the question and the reference to the dashboard, which is very handy. It confirms the openness and transparency of our housing data and performance. In terms of the specifics, I will ask the deputy secretary to see if he can respond to the member's question.

Mr WHITE - I am trying to see if I can provide something specific for that. All new social housing dwellings are required to be constructed in accordance with our design policy for social housing. The exception to that can be where there may be some issues with the site itself, perhaps because of slope or something like that. I can say that 28.7 per cent of all new social houses have either met the gold level or above of the Liveable Housing Design Guidelines, or the Australian Standard including AS1428 and AS4299 as at 31 March. This is the data I have in front of me for 2022. A further 38.8 per cent did not have specific design detail recorded beyond that it met design requirements so certainly that would suggest they would meet that minimum standard, which essentially is the silver standard under Liveable Housing. The total of those would be 67.5 per cent of those homes.

Ms O'CONNOR - That's interesting because I thought the plan was originally to build all the new homes to universal design standards, but that may have changed. So of that total that have been built, according to the Affordable Housing Strategy, that haven't been built to universal design standards or the standards that you talked about subsequent to that, how many allow for easy and cost-effective adaptation to meet specific future needs, including accessibility for aged people and people with disability?

Mr BARNETT - Having spoken to the deputy secretary, it may be easier if you put that on notice. There is a fair bit of detail in that question and I would be more than happy to respond accordingly.

Ms O'CONNOR - Thank you, I will do that. You may not have this information; I might need to put it on notice too. I think the answer is close to zero, but how many homes in the current social housing stock adhere to the universal housing design principles, and each year for the last five years, how many social housing residents and tenants have requested home modifications or adaptations to be carried out to meet their changed accessibility needs?

Mr BARNETT - We are happy to take that on notice.

Ms O'CONNOR - Thank you.