A move to make all new homes more accessible for people with mobility needs has been put forward to the Government.
Auckland Council’s governing body approved a submission last week calling for universal design standards for residential buildings.
Universal design refers to the design of buildings to make them accessible to all people regardless of age, disability or other factors.
Currently, only commercial properties must adhere to the rules but the council wants that expanded to include homes.
The cost of them could be massive, and do very little to help with disabled access.
Commercial buildings are by their nature open to either the public or the staff who work there. They should have (for example) lifts and ramps so people in wheelchairs can shop there or work there.
But your private home is for you and your family. Why should you be forced to design your home for anyone but yourself?
Families come in all sizes. Some homes are good for toddlers and some are not. Some homes are good for elderly people, and some are not. People choose a home that suits them.
Requiring every single house built in New Zealand to be (for example) wheelchair friendly would drive up the costs of homes by tens of thousands of dollars.
Fundamentally a private home is very different to a commercial building.