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Disability Action Southeast (an action group of the Disability Resources Centre) & Victorian Council of Social Service Accessible Housing Forum What is.

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Presentation on theme: "Disability Action Southeast (an action group of the Disability Resources Centre) & Victorian Council of Social Service Accessible Housing Forum What is."— Presentation transcript:

1 Disability Action Southeast (an action group of the Disability Resources Centre) & Victorian Council of Social Service Accessible Housing Forum What is the problem? Bernd Bartl City of Casey Council Chambers, Magid Drive, Narre Warren Monday, 18 May am – 11.35pm  Bernd Bartl 2009

2 What is the problem? 1.The history 2.The standards 3.The problem 4.Where to?

3 Houses are built for human habitation Buildings are built for human occupation If houses and buildings are not fit for some people’s habitation or occupation then, either: a) the people who they do not fit are not human; or b) how houses and buildings are designed and built must change to make them fit for everyone (and existing buildings must be altered) Accessibility-for-all: a matter of logic

4 Almost everyone will suffer a mobility or vision impairment at some time in their life If not with an impairment oneself, friends, relatives and neighbours will have If no one in a household presently has an impairment, chances are that future households in the dwelling will We are an ageing population and incidence of impairment increases with age Upfront design and construction of accessibility-for-all is low- or no-cost, whereas retrofitting is expensive (often prohibitively so) Accessibility-for-all: a matter of sanity

5 Productivity Commission (2004) Reform of Building Regulation, Research Report “Governments sometimes intervene in the market for the social purpose of ensuring certain minimum standards of accommodation (including access to buildings) for all. It is most unlikely that certain building qualities, such as access for people with disabilities, would be delivered widely in the absence of government intervention.” (17 November 2004; Overview, p.XXIII)

6 The history

7 International Sweden Introduced housing visitability building regulation in Britain (England and Wales) Introduced housing visitability building regulations (Part M) in Republic of Ireland in Greater London Authority increased requirements (April 2004).

8 The Law and Persons with Handicaps, South Australian ‘Bright Report’: Justice Charles Hart Bright, Chairman “If AS [Australian Standard]1428 were altered to include basic design rules for private residences as well as public buildings, it would be a relatively simple matter to incorporate these requirements into the Building Regulations. “ (1978, p.173)

9 RESCODE ADVISORY COMMITTEE PANEL REPORT TO MINISTER submitted to Minister 20 December, 2000; publicly released 15 January 2001) “The ground floor of dwellings should be accessible or able to be easily made accessible to people with limited mobility.”

10 Planning and Environment Act 1987 Clause Dwelling diversity objective To encourage a range of dwellings sizes and types in developments of ten or more dwellings. Standard B3 Developments of ten or more dwellings should provide a range of dwelling sizes and types, including: -Dwellings with a different number of bedrooms. -At least one dwelling that contains a kitchen, bath or shower and a toilet and wash basin at ground floor level. (55.02 Neighbourhood Character And Infrastructure) Clause Accessibility objective To encourage the consideration of the needs of people with limited mobility in the design of developments. Standard B25 The dwelling entries of the ground floor of dwellings and residential buildings should be accessible or able to be easily made accessible to people with limited mobility. (55.05 On-Site Amenity And Facilities)

11 ABEWG Accessible Built Environment Working Group (ABEWG), State government access advisory group convened by the Building Commission, established June Workplan of 18 December 2001 ABEWG meeting includes: “Release RIS [Regulatory Impact Statement; on housing accessibility standard] for public consultation; August - September 2002”

12 Local Planning Scheme Amendments Manningham Planning Scheme Amendment C33 Panel Report, 2 October 2003 Melbourne Planning Scheme Amendment C60(i) Panel Report, 14 October 2003 Moonee Valley Planning Scheme Amendment C50 Panel Report, June 2004 Yarra Planning Scheme Amendment C66 Panel Report, October 2004 Note: incorporate both housing and public and commercial premises access provisions

13 Melbourne 2030 Melbourne 2030 Implementation Reference Group: Priority Implementation Issues (26 March 2004) “Key issues requiring ongoing management by state government Introduce requirement for new homes and renovations to meet visitable standards to enhance access for the elderly and people with disabilities.” (p. 49 of 53)

14 OSISDC Outer Suburban/ Interface Services Development Committee Inquiry into Sustainable Urban Design for New Communities in Outer Suburban Areas, reported 5 October 2004 “The Committee recommends that inclusive and accessible design be given serious consideration by the Victorian Government to bring Victorian standards in line with UK standards, in relation to visitability.”(Recommendation 6) “The Committee recommends the Victorian Government investigate the economic and social viability of incorporating Australian Standard 4299 – Adaptable Housing (1995) into the Victorian Building Regulations as a requirement for all new housing in Victoria.”(Recommendation 7)

15 Responses to OSISDC Inquiry Victorian Government Response (16 May 2005) Government response accepted recommendations ‘in principle’; but made any real systemic regulatory change dependent on accessible housing research jointly funded by the Australian Building Codes Board (ABCB) and the Building Commission. This research received November 2005 but not made public. Victorian Opposition Shadow Planning Spokesperson, Ted Baillieu: “call[ed] on the current minister to take this opportunity to take a lead.... He has a chance here to take a step forward and respond to the OSISDC report, and to indicate to those communities which have been pushing this issue for some time that there is a way forward.” (Legislative Assembly, 23 March 2005)

16 Victorian Competition and Efficiency Commission (VCEC) Housing regulation inquiry Issues paper (December 2004) DACV / VCOSS forum (February 2005) Draft report (July 2005) Final report (October 2005) Government response (April 2006)

17 A Fairer Victoria: Progress and Next Steps.. currently considering the report of the Accessible Housing Taskforce. We will improve accessibility of housing for people with a disability by working with housing industry organisations to develop: a best practice industry guideline for developers and builders on how to incorporate accessible and adaptable features into dwellings; and, practice notes that contain technical specifications on accessibility and adaptability. We will also develop a web-based directory to provide a one-stop resource of information on housing accessibility and adaptability for the community and housing industry. We will also educate consumers about the benefits of accessible and adaptable housing. (June 2006)

18 Disability Advisory Council of Victoria / 12 organisations Accessible Place, Accessible State organisations, including Equal Opportunity Commission Victoria, Paraquad, Blind Citizens Australia and VCOSS, make 30 recommendations; including: Statewide visitable housing building regulation in 06/07 (R15) Approval of Melbourne City Council (MCC) planning access provisions as a pilot and alignment of other local government provisions with MCC ones (Rec.s 17 & 16) Disability Discrimination Act (DDA) national Access to Premises standard to come into effect May 2006 (level of provision as specified in the February 2004 draft version in full) (Rec 24) (Recommended Policy Outline for the Victorian Government, DACV, December 2005)

19 Accessible Housing Taskforce Established August 2005, to report on how need for accessible housing can best be met in Victoria Reported to Planning Minister beginning May 2006 “the key recommendation”, that: “future medium-density [multi-unit development up to 3 storeys] and high-density [higher than 3 storeys] housing should have: an accessible path to a level entry; wider doorways and corridors; noggings and/or reinforced bathroom and toilet walls; and an accessible toilet with an outward swinging door.” (The Age, 11 June, p.2) Part of ‘A Fairer Victoria’ government social justice agenda

20 Victorian ALP 2006 election a reelected Bracks Labor Government will establish a state-wide Accessible Housing Program, delivering the following initiatives: An industry led ‘Homes for Life’ guide to assist industry and consumers in the delivery of accessible housing. A campaign to promote greater understanding and awareness of accessible building issues within the construction industry and the broader community. This campaign will be delivered by utilising the education and promotional resources of the Building Commission, Human Services, VicUrban, the Equal Opportunity Commission and the Office for Disability. Establish a simple and low cost access rating system to indicate how accessible and adaptable a dwelling is to potential tenants and purchasers. Taking account of the recommendations of the Accessible Housing Taskforce, where local governments propose amendments to their local planning schemes in relation to housing accessibility, Labor will ensure that a consistent approach is achieved by specifying that a suite of standard ‘low cost/no cost’ measures are included in the amendments. Such measures will apply only to the ground floor of new medium density developments and one out of five units in new high density apartment blocks. (Addressing Disadvantage: Investing in a fairer Victoria, 20 November 2006; Planning in partnership with local communities, 22 November 2006)

21 Victorian Universal Housing Alliance (VUHA) Homes for all of us, all the time ‘Universal Housing, Universal Benefits’ (A VCOSS discussion paper on universal housing regulation in Victoria) Tuesday, 29 July 2008

22 Local Planning Scheme Amendments (continued) Melbourne Planning Scheme Amendment C60(i B) Yarra Planning Scheme Amendment C84 Port Philip Planning Scheme Amendment C62 Moonee Valley Planning Scheme Amendment C90 Note: (1) all Municipal Strategic Statements (MSS) (2) incorporate both housing and public and commercial premises access provisions

23 PRACTICAL AND ACCESSIBLE HOMES FOR ALL VICTORIANS ? (1) The Build for Life awareness campaign will inform builders, designers and consumers of accessible design elements to be built into new homes. (2) A draft regulatory impact statement will be released for public comment later in the year and will investigate implementing minimum mandatory requirements four accessible features into Victoria’s building regulations: A clear path from the street to a level entry; Wider doorways and halls; A toilet suitable for people with limited mobility on entry level; and Reinforced bathroom walls so grab rails can be fitted inexpensively if they are needed in the future. (Planning Minister Justin Madden and Community Services and Senior Victorians Minister Lisa Neville, Tuesday, 14 April 2009)

24 Build for life Briefing Paper on Accessible Housing Features foreshadowed in the RIS would cost around $870 for an average home, according to research by the State government and leading quantity surveyor Davis Langdon. Research shows renovating a typical home to add the access features foreshadowed in the regulation would cost around $19,400 – 22 times the cost of including them upfront.

25 The standards

26 Australian Standards (current) AS 1428 Part 1 (mobility) AS 1428 Part 2 (enhanced mobility) AS 4299, Categories A, B and C (adaptable housing)

27 Inclusive housing s tandards None in national building regulations (Building Code of Australia) South Australia and ACT have requirements for percentage of new housing

28 Build for life (proposed dimensions) Continuous path of travel (from street to a level entry) Specification needed; & all entries (a) Wider door (800mm or 850mm clear width) 850mm (only) acceptable (b) Wider corridors (900mm) 1000mm acceptable, 1200 preferable Toilet at entry level (900mm wide) 1000 X 2000mm acceptable, & demountable non-load bearing wall Reinforced bathroom wall, nogging (small area) Need large area

29 Build for life (proposed percentage and missing essential element) 1 in 5 (20%) of lifted buildings Only exempt non-shared entrance buildings from having lift, but require adaptability for lift (load-bearing wall(s) and space for installing lift) Any percentage of lifted building is stupid and unacceptable No requirement for type of shower Hobless shower (no step)

30 Planning Change to State Planning Framework to require accessibility planning from very beginning Local planning amendments (can set higher standards)

31 The problem

32 Money? One of the richest populations on a planet which has only dreamt of this level of wealth in the past. Ignorance? More reports, recommendations, working groups, taskforces, discussion and debate than rain drops in a summer shower Lack of expertise? We can get people on the moon, and making housing accessible does not seem intrinsically more technically difficult

33 So, maybe it is: a lack of generosity a lack of will a lack of vision a reluctance to change a denial of our need to connect with others a denial of our human vulnerability Addressing these lacks, reluctance and denials will enrich everyone.

34 Where to?

35 Victorian Competition and Efficiency Commission (VCEC) Regulatory Impact Statement (RIS) inquiry Exemptions and Exceptions to the Equal Opportunity Act (1995) review Scrutiny of Acts and Regulations Committee (SARC) Victorian Parliament 10 July 2009 draft Regulatory Impact Statement (RIS) improvement

36 Lobby, advocate Publicize, protest, rage

37 ‘If not now, when?’ ‘If not us, who?’ After Primo Levi and Hillel Hillel in The Sayings of the Fathers: "If am not for myself, who will be for me? If am for myself alone, what am I? If not now, when?"  Bernd Bartl 2009 Whose homes? Answer: for everyone?


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