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OAK RIDGE - A 'LIVABLE HOUSING' ESTATE

 

We have exciting news! The WAPC has approved the Oak Ridge subdivision, without any changes to the lot sizes. Unexpectedly, they have also lifted the Over 55s restriction, and instead will require homes on the estate to need to meet the Platinum Level of the Livable Housing Design Guidelines. The Shire of Mundaring is supporting this shift away from the traditional Over 55s estate, towards the Livable Housing model, which focuses on inclusivity and accessibility. The Livable Housing Design Guidelines with ensure that the estate continues to target owners looking to downsize and age-in-place, by requiring purpose-built housing designed to suit Over 55s.

The major benefit of this change is that there will no longer be an age restriction in place, providing owners with more flexibility in their financial arrangements, and enabling owners to sell or lease on the open market.

WHAT IS 'LIVABLE HOUSING'?

 

The Livable Housing Design (LHD) Guidelines have been developed by Livable Housing Australia (LHA) to incorporate easy living features into new housing design and construction. This model is being advocated as an alternative to Over 55s living, as it aims to create housing that provides a high level of comfort, flexibility and adaptability for those with existing disabilities and those who plan on aging-in -place. The driving idea behind the guidelines is that it is more practical and cost effective to design a home that can easily adapt to the changing needs of residents, than retrofit an existing home to allow for comfortable aging-in-place.

The Guidelines focus on 15 key areas of design, and offer a performance statement (the intended outcome e.g. reducing falls) and the guidelines to achieve it (e.g. slip resistant flooring). The Guidelines aim to be practical and cost effective.

The most common requirement is additional space for mobility devices in tight areas such as corridors, doorways, and bathrooms. Others focus on the general accessibility of household fixtures, such as light switches that can be accessed from a wheelchair, or taps and handles that at easy to use with limit hand strength. These are easy ways to improve quality of life in later years, and there are a wide range of stylish fixtures available on the market to help you achieve these outcomes.

More information on the design guidelines can be found in the Livable Housing Design Guidelines booklet, at www.livablehousingaustralia.org.au

THE 15 KEY AREAS OF THE LIVABILITY GUIDELINES

  • A safe, continuous path without steps that connects the street entrance and/or parking area with the entry door.

  • At least one level step-free entrance into the dwelling.

  • Wide doors and corridors that enable the easy, comfortable movement between spaces.

  • A toilet on the ground level that is easy to access and has space for mobility devices.

  • A bathroom that contains a hobless shower recess and circulation space for mobility devices.

  • Reinforced walls around the toilet, shower, and bath to support the safe installation of grabrails if required in the future.

  • Stairways are designed to reduce the likelihood of injury and enable future adaptation.

  • Floor coverings are slip resistant to reduce the likelihood of slips, trips and falls in the home.

  • The laundry space is designed to support ease of movement between fixed benches and to support easy adaptation.

  • A bedroom on the ground floor that is easily accessible and has circulation room for mobility devices.

  • Light switches and power points are easy to use, and located at heights that are easy to reach for all home occupants.

  • Door hardware and tapware that can easily be used by residents with reduced hand strength, such a lever-style handles.

  • The family/living room features clear space to enable the home occupant to move in and around the room with ease.

  • Windows sills are installed at a height that enables home occupants to view the outdoor space from either a seated or standing position.

  • The kitchen space is designed to support ease of movement between fixed benches, with appropriate task lighting, and allows for easy future adaptation.

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