The construction of new homes specially adapted for those with mobility problems is on the horizon in Brisbane, with the Brisbane City Council announcing Australian-first plans to grant incentives to developers willing to build homes for this underserved population, which includes seniors, those recovering from illness and injury, mothers with prams, and those with mobile difficulties.

Brisbane Lord Mayor Adrian Schrinner said that, as a component of the council’s 2019-20 budget, developers who build houses in accordance with the Livable Housing Design Guideline Gold Standard will earn a 33 percent infrastructure charge rebate.

This rebate will be accessible to developers who construct residential care facilities as well as multiple dwellings.

A Livable Housing Design Guideline Gold Standard residence is distinguishable from the inside out. The resident must be able to walk a safe, continuous and step-free path from the street to the entrance. Inside, residents must be able to move comfortably and without obstacle throughout doors and corridors. Easily accessed toilet facilities must be located on the ground floor, as must a bathroom that contains a step-free shower recess. And all bathrooms must feature reinforced walls surrounding the toilets, showers and baths, to facilitate the safe installation of grabrails later.

Also inside the residence, a continuous handrail must border one side of a stairway that boasts a rise of more than one metre. Powerpoints and light switches must be easy to access, and—in kitchens and laundries—enough space must be allocated in front of all appliances.

Schrinner also indicated that the council will investigate the introduction of future planning amendments that require every new home to be constructed in accordance with the guideline’s base Silver Standard; with the greater mission of making every citizen in Brisbane feel as though they belong—and well able to afford and use quality housing options in the area.