Livable Housing Australia's February 2014 Newsletter
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Livable Housing Update                  February 2014

Seizing the livability agenda

We’ve kicked off 2014 with new projects being certified, new corporate partners and a new board member.  We’re working with industry to seize the livable housing agenda before it becomes subject to regulation – something proposed by a number of state and territory governments in 2013.

Introducing our new Board member

We’re delighted to announce that high-profile public interest lawyer Fiona Smith has been appointed to LHA’s Board of Directors.
Fiona Smith
Fiona has been at the forefront of reform leadership in Victoria for many years, chairing Victoria’s Business Licensing Authority and the Victorian Equal Opportunity and Human Rights Commission.  LHA’s Chair, Peter Verwer, has said that Fiona’s reputation, understanding of governance issues and experience in the disability sector will add further depth to the LHA Board.

“Fiona possesses a rare combination of knowledge and experience across a broad range of public, business, health, welfare and community sectors.  A passionate advocate of issues concerning equality, disability and human rights for many years, Fiona’s contribution to the board will be invaluable,” Mr Verwer says.
“Many physical barriers that people with disability face – and the expenses that they incur – can be eliminated if houses are designed and built to meet common sense livable design benchmarks.

“Livable Housing Australia is making an important contribution to a more equitable, livable future for everyone – and I’m looking forward to furthering this ambitious agenda,” Fiona says.

Read our media release announcing Fiona's appointment.

Calling all leaders in livability!

We have listened to industry feedback and are pleased to offer a ‘Gold Corporate Partnership’ package which presents new opportunities for early adopters in the ‘livability’ space to gain market advantage.
The two levels of Corporate Membership are:

Platinum Corporate Partner - $30,000 per annum (no minimum membership term)

Gold Corporate Partner - $10,000 for the first year, $20,000 for the second year and subsequent years. This offer is subject to a two-year membership.

As a further incentive to join us as a Platinum or Gold Corporate Partner, we are waiving the Livability Quality Mark verification fees until 1 July 2014.  We encourage you to take advantage of this ‘fee free’ period.  Download our Supporting Member Prospectus, which includes a full list of features and benefits.

Livable design for the long-term

Quantum Housing Group is encouraging its consortium of 100 builders and developers to include Livable Housing Design (LHD) elements into hundreds of low-cost housing projects.  Quantum has achieved Silver and Gold certification on a number of designs, is about to tackle Platinum, and has some lessons to share.
Luke Ford
Quantum’s Managing Director, Luke Ford, says “incorporating livable housing design elements in affordable rental properties will future-proof these assets from an investment point of view, because of the growing demand (and currently limited supply) of this type of housing product.” 

Once the design is right, the additional cost for livability features is nominal, Luke says.  
“In our experience, the additional cost is about $15 a square metre for Silver and $25 a square for Gold, with an extra couple of percent required in area as well.”

Download our case study to find why Quantum thinks a small additional outlay can deliver a large long-term benefit.

Livability a key driver

A new survey of Queensland builders has found livable design is an important factor for customers when selecting a builder.
The latest Master Builders Survey of Industry Conditions, which assesses current conditions and business sentiment in Queensland’s building and construction industry, has found good livable design is behind only value for money, quality, and fixtures and fittings as drivers for consumers when selecting a builder.
Master Builders Deputy Executive Director, Paul Bidwell, said that more than 40 per cent of house builders felt that livable design was “of either major or critical importance to their clients.” 
MBA’s report suggests that builders should look to livable design expertise as a way to differentiate themselves from the competitions. 
Property Council of Australia logo

Upskilling the industry

More than 60 members of the Property Council of Australia’s NSW Division attended an update session on Tuesday 4 February.  
Participants learnt how to apply the Livable Housing Design Guidelines to their projects, the requirements for Silver, Gold and Platinum certification, how the assessment process works, and how their organisations can be a part of Australia’s livable transformation.  To find out more about an industry update for your organisation, contact  Amelia Starr.

Dates for your diary

WA: Become an LHA Registered Assessor!  Attend this full-day workshop in Perth on Wednesday 19 March.  Find out more and book today.
QLD: Members of the Australian Institute of Architects are invited to a member briefing on Monday 10 March to find out more about livable housing design. 
Find out more and register to attend.

Expressions of Interest Invited :

BDAV Livable Housing Assessor Workshop

The Building Designers Association of Victoria – a Core Supporter of Livable Housing Australia – seeks Expressions of Interest from interested persons wishing to participate in a workshop to become a registered assessor under the Livable Housing Design Guidelines. The nationally agreed Livable Housing Design Guidelines assist you to understand, promote and deliver livable designed homes. The Guidelines provide technical advice and guidance on the key easy living features that make a home easier and safer in which to live for people of all ages and abilities. Livable Housing Australia’s Registered Assessors are independent consultants who evaluate the design and completed construction of homes against the Livable Housing Design Guidelines. To register your interest for this proposed one-day workshop – planned to be held in Melbourne in May 2014 if sufficient interest is received – please complete and return the EoI form available by CLICKING HERE.

Livable Housing Design Guideline
Download the Livable Housing Design Guidelines

The Livable Housing Design Guidelines outline the simple design elements that make a home safe, comfortable and easy to access for everyone, every day, at all stages of life. Download our free app from the  AppStore or Google Play.
App Store Download Image
Google Play Download Image
LHA’s Registered Assessor Course has been especially tailored and distributed to industry associations, including the Housing Industry Association, Master Builders’ Association, Association of Consultants in Access Australia, Australian Institute of Architects and the Building Designers Associations of Victoria and Queensland.  Visit our Current Courses page to see the courses being delivered this year.

Livable design in the news

The Livable Housing Design Guidelines are being supported by both the usual and ‘unusual suspects’.  For instance, the Australian Government's latest guide to environmentally-sustainable homes, Your Home, provides reference to the Guidelines, while MacWorld has been impressed by our Guidelines App and promotes it in the latest issue.  Help us spread the word by sharing the Guidelines with your network.

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PO Box 6943
Silverwater BC NSW 1811

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