It is now easier for housing in Brisbane to be accessible to all residents, regardless of their age or ability, with the guidelines for Brisbane City Council’s Universal Housing Design Incentive released today.
City Planning Chair Councillor Matthew Bourke said there was a growing demand for accessible housing in Brisbane and the new incentive ensured Brisbane’s ageing population and people living with disabilities could stay in their homes.
“Lord Mayor Adrian Schrinner announced this new incentive in the 2019-20 Budget and the eligibility criteria has now been released and applications for the incentive can be made,” Cr Bourke said.
“Team Schrinner is making it easier for accessible housing to be built in Brisbane and has introduced a 33 per cent infrastructure charges rebate for developers who build properties to a universal housing standard.
“This Australian-first incentive scheme will encourage the development of housing to meet the gold or platinum standard, under the Livable Housing Design Guidelines.
“These buildings will be required to have elements, including step-free entries, wider hallways and corridors, handrails and at least one ground-floor level bathroom and bedroom.
“Once a new development is built to these standards, the developers will be eligible to claim the incentive off their paid infrastructure charges.”
Cr Bourke said new homes being built to this standard would ensure the changing needs of residents are met.
“Current housing designs are often unsuitable for residents who have to navigate wheelchairs, walkers or prams,” he said.
“Currently some people have to move out of their houses as they get older or if they develop a disability, but this incentive will allow people to retain independence in their homes for longer.
“Providing accessibility upgrades is a stressful and expensive experience but building a new property to a universal housing standard is 22 times more efficient and significantly cheaper.”
Cr Bourke said Council would continue to work with stakeholders, including the community, to provide more inclusive communities that cater for people of all ages and abilities now and into the future.
Anthony Ryan, Chief Executive Officer of Youngcare said he was excited to see Council implement the incentive.
“With thousands of young Australians with physical support needs living in institutional environments like aged care, accessible housing is vital in creating inclusive communities and improving quality of life,” Mr Ryan said.
“Brisbane City Council’s Universal Housing Design Incentive will change the disability housing sector for the better, providing much-needed living spaces for those with a disability.”
To be eligible for the incentive payment, new developments will be required to meet the Gold or Platinum performance level in the Livable Housing Design Guidelines, Council’s Eligibility Criteria, and must be completed between 1 July 2019 and 30 June 2021.
For more information, visit www.brisbane.qld.gov.au or call Council on (07) 3403 8888.