LHA Guidelines: working for both clients and builders
14 Jan 2016
Diagnosed with a degenerative neurological disorder in 2013, I sold my two-storey home in 2015. Existing local housing failed to meet evolving needs.
I thought buying off plan, early in the development, would allow adjustments to be made. Problems were, builders knew less than I did about accessible housing. With a limited income, access architectural fees and builder’s costs for changes were prohibitive.
I found the LHA National Guidelines on the web. It was a pivotal moment. I have co-invested with family and a builder to buy a block to build 3 units.
Using the Guidelines as the key point of reference and input from the builder we have designed my accessible unit. Using the self-assessment tool from the LHA website, it should meet platinum level on all but one criteria. The remaining criteria should meet silver. For peace of mind I will have a certified LHA Assessor review plans early in 2016.
On reflection, stumbling across the LHA website was my saving grace. Many baby boomers considering demolishing the family home and boutique builders constructing many of the dual occupancy or 3 unit developments are oblivious to the LHA Guidelines. My family and friends are encouraging me to spread the word. They are just as excited as I am and have suggested I approach local Lions clubs and alike to inform and inspire.
I truly believe consumers have more power than they realise and they need to become aware so the push for use of the LHA Guidelines comes from them.
The Livable Housing Guidelines, which have been developed by industry and the community, provide assurance that a home is easier to access, navigate and live in, as well more cost effective to adapt when life’s circumstances change.