Media Release by Senator the Hon Jan McLucas

App to make livable housing a reality

Designing and building ‘livable homes’ suitable for people in all stages of life will be much easier, with a new iPhone and iPad application to be developed with the help of $60,000 in Australian Government funding.

Speaking at the RI Accessible Housing Forum in Canberra, the Parliamentary Secretary for Disabilities and Carers, Jan McLucas said the app will help homebuyers, homeowners and the building industry better understand the Livable Housing Design Guidelines developed by Livable Housing Australia.

Livable Housing Australia promotes greater understanding of the value of designing houses that are accessible to all.

“Universal housing design is about making our homes easier and safer to live in — for people with disability, families with young children, people with temporary injuries and senior Australians,” Senator McLucas said.

“Our houses are fine for the here and now and for the fit and well, but we all know life can change in an instant.

“That’s why, as Australia faces the challenges of an ageing population, livability is something we should all be aspiring to.”

The Livable Housing Design Guidelines help guide the residential and building industry and all levels of government to build homes that are easier to enter, safer to move around in and more cost effective to adapt when life circumstances change.

Under these guidelines there are three performance ratings: Silver, Gold and Platinum, with Platinum the highest level.

Leaders of the housing industry and disability and ageing sectors are working towards having all new homes built to reflect the Silver level by 2020.

The Australian Government is investing $1 million to drive this innovative partnership with the building and property sectors to promote universal housing design.

“This new app will make the Livable Housing Design Guidelines into a user-friendly, highly visual tool for homebuyers, homeowners, and industry professionals.

“Homeowners and homebuyers will be able to use the app to input data and information. The app will then determine whether their home meets the Silver, Gold or Platinum rating.

“It will also assist in the design process by providing timely answers to questions of architects, draftspersons and builders.

“It will help users understand the technical features and application of the different ratings.

“This app is an important step towards ensuring all homes can adapt to the changing needs of Australian society,” Senator McLucas said.

For further information on Livable Housing Australia and the Livable Housing Design Guidelines go to