Every person has the right to an adequate standard of living; a right to live in a home that is appropriate, affordable and accessible for the individual’s needs. This fundamental basic human right has been denied to those living with disability for far too long and as such has needed to be included as part of Australia’s obligations under the United Nations Convention on the Rights of Persons with Disabilities (since 2008), Australia’s Disability Strategy 2021-20311, and South Australia’s own Disability Inclusion Act 2018.
In South Australia 1 in 5 people live with disability. Our ageing population is continuing to grow. Despite this, we continue to accept that an increasing proportion of our population must either reside in homes that they cannot easily enter, move around in or shower in or are forced to move into alternative accommodation. This is increasingly complicated by the shortage of affordable housing options available and by the high cost of retrofitted modifications. Well beyond residents, a move to universal design will enable people with disabilities to visit others freely, thereby reducing the very real threat that inaccessibility poses for isolation and loneliness.
Letter closes: We implore you to support and mandate the minimum accessibility standards for new residential construction projects based on the Livable Housing Design silver standards under the National Construction Code 2022.