The Victorian Government has announced plans to change its building regulations to make new homes more accessible.
The new standards would lead to wider doorways and easier-to-use toilets and in a bid to help people stay in their own homes for longer.
The announcement has been welcomed by Aged and Community Services Australia (ACSA), with CEO Greg Mundy saying they were long overdue.
“Victoria is to be congratulated for leading the country in developing standards which will improve the lives of older people and those with a disability,” he said.
“However, because the ageing of Australia’s population is set to become an issue of unprecedented significance, standards for accessible housing must be adopted nationally.
Mr Mundy further said the Victorian Government’s decision was common sense because it would bring benefits throughout the community into the future.
“The costs associated with making all accommodation user friendly for families throughout their lives, are small in comparison with the huge range of benefits,” he said.
“They are also likely to be recouped when people sell their homes, especially given the dramatically increasing numbers of older Australians.
“Something as simple as wider halls and doorways and reinforced bathroom walls to allow for hand rails to be attached, can make all the difference to the lives of older, and disabled people or in fact for young families.”