Championing safer, more comfortable and easier to access homes for everybody at all stages of life.

National Dialogue on Universal Housing Design

Livable Housing Australia (LHA) originated from the highly successful National Dialogue on Universal Housing Design, convened in October 2009. The Dialogue brought together lead stakeholders from the residential building and property industry, the ageing, disability and human rights sector and government to discuss how housing could be designed and built to better respond to the changing needs and abilities of people over their lifetime.

Members of the National Dialogue were provided secretariat support by the Department of Families, Housing, Community Services and Indigenous Affairs. The Department of Industry, Innovation, Science, Research and Tertiary Education and the Australian Building Codes Board acted as observers to the Dialogue given the discussion around developing Guidelines. The Department of Planning and Community Development also provided technical advice on the Guidelines.

Members of the Dialogue were:

  • Australian Human Rights Commission
  • Australian Institute of Architects
  • Australian Local Government Association
  • Australian Network for Universal Housing Design
  • Building Commission Victoria
  • COTA Australia
  • Grocon
  • Housing Industry Association
  • Lend Lease
  • Master Builders Australia
  • National People with Disabilities and Carers Council
  • Office of the Disability Council of NSW
  • Property Council of Australia
  • Real Estate Institute of Australia
  • Stockland.


Members agreed to set an aspirational target for new housing to be designed and built to meet minimum livable housing design standards. Dialogue members agreed to work together to develop a strategic plan and nationally-consistent guidelines to inform the design and construction of new housing across the country.

Livable Housing Design Guidelines

In July 2010, the Livable Housing Design Guidelines were launched, and Dialogue members committed to the Strategic Plan. The Australian Government pledged support over four years to the implementation of the initiatives set out in the Strategic Plan. In June 2011, Dialogue members agreed to establish a new not-for profit organisation, Livable Housing Australia, to drive the strategic directions set-down by the National Dialogue and to champion the Livable Housing Design Guidelines.


Today, LHA drives industry best practice through the Livable Housing Design Guidelines. We work closely with industry and government to embrace the Guidelines, and provide industry with the training and education needed to design and deliver livable homes and provide LHA Assessors to certify that homes meet the one of the Livable Housing Design Guideline performance levels, Silver Gold or Platinum.

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