Research & Development

Influencing Housing Strategy

AHURI Special Investigative Panel

NRAS Economic and Taxation Impact Study

Whole of Life: Whole of Use NDIS Design Competition

Disability Housing Futures (PART II) Working Group

Useful Housing Links

Whole of Life: Whole of Use NDIS Design Competition

The National Disability Insurance Scheme [NDIS] reforms represent a milestone in Australian social policy that will see a substantial improvement in the quality of life for thousands of people with a disability (PWD). At the heart of the NDIS reforms is the idea of independent living within the community, social and economic inclusion. Access to suitable, stable and affordable housing is critical to the wellbeing of people with a disability.

NAHC facilitated a ‘Whole of Life: Whole of Use’ – NDIS Design Competition between four Universities nationally. A number of esteemed professionals were invited to sit on the Judging Panel. The Competition invited creative thinking and functional cost effective design innovation for PWD, bearing in mind the different types of disabilities (mobility, sensory, psychiatric, cognitive). By engaging university students LC. versus going to the open market, NAHC promoted an opportunity and aspiration for young professionals and encouraged ‘new creative thinking for a new scheme’.

Two sites were selected, one low and one medium density. The competition brief stated that design should evolve around the production of standard residential dwellings that can be bought and sold in the general market. The building’s design was to be flexible and adaptable for people from different disability groups to be able to live independently, but at the same time suitable and saleable to fully abled people.


The following principles were to be followed by the participants:

• Longevity and low maintenance

• Adaptability that allows for changing demands over time

• Independent living for people with a disability

• Socially integrated places with visual connection to the immediate surroundings and the community as a whole

• Accessibility and safety for residents and visitors

• Functionality – use by PWD and conventional use

• Value Enhancement – ability to grow in value and asset worth

design 2

Overall, the submissions were of high quality. The awarded teams followed the brief very carefully and demonstrated sophisticated thinking and clarity behind the design. With functionality as a key to good design, all homes in the wining submissions are designed to Livable Housing Australia Platinum Level, providing very high level of accessibility. The concept of sustainable living, rather than sustainable housing is the focus of the wining designs. Thought has been given to replicability, deliverability, flexibility and usability.

NAHC is currently identifying opportunities to implement the winning designs.

For more information please see the attached press release in Quick Links.