In June this year, Brisbane City Council (BCC) announced a set of initiatives to encourage the design of new dwellings which accommodate people of all needs, specifically to include the elderly, people with a disability or injury and families with young children.
The Universal Housing Design Incentive provides a financial incentive for new dwellings which include design features that increase accessibility in existing and future development approvals.
Eligible development includes for a Material Change of Use (MCU) for dual occupancy, rooming accommodation, residential care facility, or multiple dwellings which achieve a ‘Gold’ or ‘Platinum’ standard universal housing rating. Development must also be located within one of the prescribed zoning designations, including either the residential, centre or mixed use zone categories.
The Livable Housing Guidelines were developed through partnership of industry representatives and community members to promote homes which are easier for people to access, navigate and live in. Examples from the design guideline includes implementing wider doorways and corridors, easy to operate door handles and minimising steps and tripping hazards.
A Livable Housing Australia (LHA) Design Guideline Assessor will provide certification for ‘Gold’ or ‘Platinum’ rated developments where construction has been completed and the use has commenced from 1 July 2019 until 30 June 2021.
If meeting all eligible criteria, Council will pay one third (33%) of the total infrastructure charges subsequent to the charge being paid in full (and with no additional discounts). Dwelling houses are excluded from the incentive as they do not normally incur infrastructure charges.
If you have an existing approval, it may be beneficial to investigate minor changes to the design to obtain a ‘Gold’ or ‘Platinum’ rating. You may also wish to discuss the eligibility for future development to fulfil criteria which may help to recoup some development costs. We can assist with discussing any future plans or to review existing approvals which may be eligible for receiving appropriate certification, but which may require a change approval from BCC.
We remain significantly concerned that the increased costs of achieving these standards has adverse effects on housing affordability and many sites cannot comply due to topography, highset houses and access arrangements.
For more information visit: http://www.livablehousingaustralia.org.au/ or contact our office on (07) 3876 0533.
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