Why do we need another guide?

This is a very good question! Australia already has a National Building Code, Australian Standards as well as Indigenous Housing Guides and local government regulations.

But it is important to note that with all these regulations, the function of Indigenous houses in Australia is still very poor and over 90% of the faults found relate to lack of maintenance and poor initial construction. So perhaps just reading them and complying with the current standards would be a great start to improving the living environment.

The Guide does not override or conflict with any of the national standards but attempts to show a greater level of detail as to why houses should function for health. It gives areas that need to be improved based on data describing existing failures.

For example, the national Australian Standard will prescribe hot water system safety requirements and the Building Code will require hot water be provided to a house and be tempered at some points within the house to prevent scalding. There will be no advice regarding the volumes of hot water required per person and the impact of overcrowded houses, the impact of poor water quality on systems or hot water system economy – all essential to ensure a child is washed and enjoys a health benefit from the house. This is the role of the Guide.

VIDEO: Paul Pholeros – Director, Healthabitat Speaking about linking data with people to improve the living environment and why the guide is needed.


Posted in: About Housing for Health: the guide