I have just re-read Bill Moss’s tirade about the Federal Government’s aspirational goal of having all new homes built to disability-friendly design standards by 2020 – ten years away.
He called it ‘wimpish’ and a ‘legally unenforceable cop-out’ and he called the responses from the Australian Property Council, the Master Builders’ Association and the Housing Industry Association ‘smug’.
Victoria’s ‘Build For Life’ project estimates it would cost an extra $870 to add accessibility features 0.2% of a median price house and land package
the coat of retrofitting would be $19,400!
In Victoria 20% of the population is 60+, has a disability or is a carer, and we’re all getting older!
It seems Australia has the biggest houses in the world and we can’t do that little bit extra?
“In my career as a businessman and senior partner at Macquarie Bank, until my increasing level of physical disability forced my early retirement, I always took a relatively straightforward, commonsense approach: when you see a problem, you work out what needs to be done to fix it, and then you do it.
And here’s one problem I can see: every year, thousands of new houses are being built in Australia that, because they continue to be very hard if not impossible for physically disabled people to access, rob such people of independence and dignity, reduce their chances of employment and grievously hamper their involvement with the community.
I know of many people with disabilities who are virtual prisoners in their own, expensively retro-fitted adapted homes because they cannot get in other people’s front doors, let alone get into the bathroom to go to the toilet, or get through narrow doorways. Let alone go into the many shops, restaurants and other public buildings that still stubbornly refuse to install a simple ramp so as to be wheelchair-accessible.”
For those with mobility problems as well older people and parents with concerns about toddler safety the Liveable House Design requires:
Parents want their kids with disabilities to have decent services, all their necessary equipment and a good education. They are:
“mad as hell about a broken system that wastes scandalous amounts of taxpayers’ money and places endless obstacles in the path of our kids’ potential progress.”
Family carers ask :
“Why are 80 year old parents STILL the sole carers for their 50 year old disabled children?”
This code was released mid July 2010 by Parliamentary Secretary for Disabilities, Bill Shorten. Supporters say it should improve a home’s value as well as make life easier for many.
Isn’t this all about sensible long term economic planning…and a bit of compassion?