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Disabled Access in Dual Occupancy Housing Australia

Outline: Until recently, Australian dual occupancy complexes were not designed or built to provide disabled access.

Main Digest

Sydney's population is increasing dramatically and the demand for more land and residential development allows for new dual occupancy buildings or the conversion of existing houses into dual occupancy buildings.

Until recently, Australian dual occupancy complexes were not designed or built to provide disabled access in terms of wheelchair access, ramps and landings, door widths, continuous travel paths, corridor widths, parking spaces and garages, lighting, alarm systems and toilets.

The Commonwealth Disabilities Discrimination Act provides the guiding principles to provide equal access to all disabled persons no matter what type of disability is involved and the Human Rights and Equal Opportunities Commission provides the forum to have existing discrimination removed.

State Government's land use planning strategies and local Council's built environment design guidelines seek to correct this imbalance by requiring disabled persons access and related facilities to all new and altered dual occupancy complexes.

The Australian Government is currently considering draft changes to the Commonwealth Disabilities Discrimination Act to make building owners and property managers liable to discrimination claims if disabled access and related facilities are not provided to new buildings and existing building alterations that are approved after the Act's gazettal date.

As per the guidelines all new dual occupancy dwellings should provide and maintain disabled access. All property developers, building designers and property managers should provide disabled access and related facilities within dual occupancy complexes.

Property owners and property managers should ensure that regular audits are carried out within existing dual occupancy complexes to ensure that disabled access and related facilities is provided at all times to comply with Australian Standards, local Council Guidelines and the Building Code of Australia.

As per their special needs provisions are must for protection of the rights of disabled people, passenger lifts availability, threshold ramps, mobility and access products, single fold ramps that can be used.

Reference: Max is a Mortgage Broker who has specialized in no deposit home loans for over 5 years - www.homeloanexperts.com.au

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