Who should use the Guide?

Who is the Guide for? How can you benefit from using Housing for Healththe Guide? If you work or study in the areas of  health, managing housing, design, architecture, engineering, environment, community development, construction, infrastructure, government, advocacy or manufacturing …read on.

VIDEO: Heleana Genaus – Design and Production co-ordinator of the Guide speaking on the Guide – making it accessible to all, why it is relevant and the future

See below to learn more about how the Guide is relevant to you:

Health Professionals

If you are a health professional and regularly treat illnesses resulting from a poor living environment and you want more detailed health information linking parts of the living environment and health, please read and download The Health Story.

Design Professionals

If you are being called on to design housing, water systems, power systems as a design professional and cannot see any clear link between your design work and the health of the end users of the buildings or communities, then the Guide  is here to help you. You will find design guidance based on:

  • design priorities informed by health outcomes,
  • design help based on known failures and successes tested and improved since 1990,
  • quality assurance checks for each stage of the project and,
  • data to back up your design and specification decisions.

To get started, visit Safety followed by the Health & Housing sections of the Guide. Once you become familiar with what items are relevant, you can download a comprehensive design and specification checklist from our TOOLBOX to help you ensure your design will not impact negatively on health.

For a recommended list of products and processes developed as Research and Development projects for Healthabitat visit the Healthy Living Products page.

Community Development or Non-Government Organisations

If you work in the community development or a non-government organisation (NGO) in the health or housing sectors see how the details of your current project may impact on safety and health by visiting Parts – A SafetyB Health & Housing and C Healthy Communities – of the Guide.

Construction & Infrastructure Industries

If your job is to build houses or infrastructure and you work in a construction/ trade organisation or their allied associations – find out why poor construction and lack of maintenance are the key reasons for housing failure and poor health. For some simple steps you can take to improve construction quality visit Parts – A Safety, B Health & Housing and C Healthy Communities – of the Guide for detailed information about all areas of construction from electrical safety of the house through to the town electrical supply. To develop detailed health and safety based maintenance plans you can download an itemised checklist from our TOOLBOX.

The Guide has been developed to accompany the Building Code of Australia and The Australian Standards, however it is different in that is covers some basic,  essential items which are not covered by either code. These items are usually overlooked by Government employed contractors in remote locations and, by being neglected, have the biggest impact on health.  For additional guidance you can find real examples of construction do’s and don’ts in every item of the Guide.

Housing & Community Management

If your main work is to maintain or manage houses and communities and want trade based, scheduled, prioritized work lists to help improve the houses and health, please go to our TOOLBOX and select the Maintenance checklist for a customized and downloadable resource.

Community advocacy

If you involved in a community group that advocates for housing or health, see the detail of what goes wrong in housing and how it can be improved.


If you work within a government, (local, regional, state or national), see would like to see how your next housing or health policy decision can be based on evidence and how your resources may be targeted to achieve a better result please visit:

For Government bodies that want to ask questions of the Guide or implement any section into policy, please contact Healthabtiat at info@healthabitat.com for further information.


If you work in an industry that manufactures building products or appliances, find opportunities for better product design or using your existing products to solve known failure points in housing by visiting our section called About the Data. Designers and Manufacturers are able to access all the data on the Guide via our TOOLBOX.


If you are a student or work in a school, college or university, see how the parts of the guide can inform a new project on design, health, construction or community development by visiting any of the major parts of the Guide:

Think the guide could include more items?

We hope you find the Guide useful, if you want to contribute suggestions, thoughts or updates go to the TOOLBOX and select Add or Edit an Item to suggest your changes now .

With your help we hope the Guide will grow and develop into an increasingly valuable tool for improving living environments and health.

The Healthabitat team