Housing principles for inclusive communities

Accessible housing for everyone

The objective of the Queensland Housing Strategy 2017–2027 is that ‘every Queenslander has access to a safe, secure and affordable home that meets their needs and enables participation in the social and economic life of our prosperous state’.

Housing should be easy to access, navigate, visit and live in, and be adaptable to meet people's changing needs. People should have choice over where they live and who they live with.

To help achieve more inclusive communities for Queenslanders, we’ve developed 4 housing principles: rights, choice, control and inclusion.

Through these principles, we aim to significantly improve the lives of people with disability and older people who face greater barriers in accessing safe, accessible and affordable housing.

The principles:

  • bring a person-centred focus to housing design and service delivery
  • provide practical guidance for housing providers, support providers, builders, designers and architects.

They will help ensure that a person's house is their home.

The 4 principles

1. Rights

People with disability and older people have the same rights to housing and assistance as the rest of the community and are encouraged and supported to exercise those rights.

Housing needs to:

  • be designed for people across a range of ages and abilities
  • allow people to age in place and live in their home through all stages of their lives as their needs change
  • allow for family and friends to visit regardless of age or disability
  • ensure people with disability can access the same housing opportunities as others and are not obliged or coerced into a particular living arrangement.

2. Control

Where a person requires support in their home, the provision and management of their housing should be separate from the provision and management of their paid supports. This will ensure greater housing security.

Housing needs to:

  • ensure no one organisation has an undue level of influence over a person’s life
  • enable a person to choose their disability support provider and change their support arrangements without this affecting their housing and vice versa
  • ensure residents can exercise tenancy rights over their home
  • be a person’s home first and foremost, and not look like, or be designed as, a workplace for paid service/support staff.

3. Choice

People with disability and older people have choice about where they live, who they live with, and who comes into their home and when, rather than this being determined by the provider.

Housing needs to:

  • reflect individual circumstances, including cultural and geographical/locational preferences
  • maximise innovation and viability by attracting and leveraging various funding sources
  • comprise a variety of housing tenures (social housing, private rental and owner-occupied)
  • be promoted through a variety of channels so that people with disability and older people can make informed decisions about the housing solution that best meets their needs and preferences.

4. Inclusion

Appropriate housing provides pathways to independence and enables social and economic participation through alternatives to group homes and high density of people with disability.

Housing needs to:

  • be a person’s home, not a facility, and reflect the overall typical design and site layout that is found in the community, ensuring dwellings are not different or special
  • be part of the community and close to amenities and services
  • encourage a mix of residents with and without disability within a housing development or apartment block, and discourage group home developments
  • align with the goals and principles of Universal Design and include assistive technology where appropriate, while being flexible enough to be allocated or sold to people with or without disability.

Consultation about the principles

In 2016, we consulted with older people, and people with disability and their families, to better understand their housing preferences.

People with disability and older people told us that they:

  • want ordinary, affordable, accessible, secure and well-located housing in the same way as other Australians
  • aspire to own their home and want greater housing choices, including affordable rental options
  • support the adoption of universal housing design in new private sector developments
  • want alternatives to, and pathways out of, group homes or facilities
  • need assurance that they are not under threat of losing their home, and have long-term housing stability to enable them to engage with the community
  • want to live independently for as long as possible.

Development of the principles

After consultation, we worked with Queensland Government agencies, Griffith University, National Shelter and the Queenslanders with Disability Network (QDN) to develop the principles.

The principles align with the intent of the:

They apply to mainstream housing responses, as well as specialist disability accommodation.

While we developed the principles with people with disability and older people in mind, they can also be applied to housing design and service delivery responses for all Queenslanders.

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