Adaptable housing for people with disability in Australia: a scoping study (2021)

The Australian Human Rights Commission commissioned a report by Monash University’s Monash Urban Lab, within the Department of Architecture, Faculty of Art Design and Architecture (Monash) on current approaches to the adaptation and modification of housing stock to meet the needs of people with disability.


One of Commissioner Dr Ben Gauntlett’s goals is to increase access to accessible housing for people with disability.

Under the United Nations Convention on the Rights of Persons with Disabilities, people with disability have the right to an adequate standard of living on an equal basis to others and the right to fully participate in all aspects of life. As we know, this is not the experience of people with disability in Australia who face difficulties finding appropriate and accessible housing.

Accessible Housing

The provision and availability of accessible housing for people with disability can be enhanced in two ways:

• by ensuring that all housing is constructed to meet mandatory minimum accessibility requirements from the outset, or
• through some form of modification or adaptation, which may involve a substantial renovation.

This report provides insight into how existing design approaches can be used to improve accessibility and create houses which meet the needs of people with disability. This includes considering the existing economic, regulatory, technological and construction frameworks and the opportunities these present to increase accessible housing availability. While the report is focused on the modification and adaptation of existing housing stock, it is clear that the benefits of embedding accessibility throughout the design processes extend to the whole community.

Read the report here.