13 June 2018
Brisbane City Council has announced Australian-first plans to give developers incentives to encourage them to build new homes which better cater for people with mobility difficulties, including seniors.
As part of the council’s 2019-20 Budget, Brisbane Lord Mayor Adrian Schrinner has announced that developers will receive a 33 per cent infrastructure charge rebate if they build homes to the Livable Housing Design Guideline Gold Standard.
The rebate will be available for developers who build multiple dwellings and residential care facilities.
Under the Livable Housing Design Guideline Gold Standard, homes must include:
- A safe, continuous and step-free path of travel from the street entrance to the dwelling entrance
- Internal doors and corridors that support comfortable and unimpeded movement
- A toilet on the ground, or entry, level that provides easy access
- A bathroom that contains a hobless (step-free) shower recess (also located on the ground or entry level)
- Reinforced walls around the toilet, shower and bath to support the safe installation of grabrails at a later date
- A continuous handrail on one side of any stairway where there is a rise of more than one metre
- Easy-to-access powerpoints and light switches
- Sufficient space in front of appliances in laundries and kitchens
In addition, Mr Schrinner said the council will look to introduce future planning amendments to introduce require all new dwellings to be built to the guideline’s base Silver Standard.
“Our vision is for a city where everyone feels they belong and today I can announce that we will deliver an Australia-first incentive scheme to support the provision of universal housing that results in homes that are usable by and marketable to almost everyone,” Mr Schrinner said.
“Current housing designs do not work for many people including older people, people recovering from illness or injury, mothers with prams and people who have mobility difficulties.”
Mr Schrinner also announced that seniors will be able to travel for free during off-peak times on Brisbane buses, CityCats and ferries from 1 October this year. This initiative will also apply to the Brisbane Metro when services commence.
“Free travel during off-peak times will not only make better use of available capacity – it will create more opportunities for older residents to travel around the city and connect with family and friends,” the Lord Mayor said.
The council’s budget also retains a council-funded 40 per cent pensioner rate rebate, increasing from a maximum of $1,015 to $1,040.
Separately, the Queensland Government has continued existing electricity, water and council rebates for eligible seniors, but as predicted not committed to a stamp duty downsizing incentive, as part of its 2019/20 Budget.