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Lifemark: Funding Announcement Good, More Leadership Needed

16 May 2013

Lifemark Welcomes Government Funding Announcement, But Calls for Further Leadership

Lifetime Design Ltd today welcomed the Government announcement to set aside funding over the next 3 years for the promotion of adaptable and accessible housing design through the Lifemark.

Andrew Olsen, General Manager, says the announcement secures future housing options that are suitable for all people no matter their age, stage or ability.

“We now have the mandate to ensure that New Zealand’s future housing stock is adaptable and accessible for all New Zealanders. We know that varied housing options are essential for creating liveable and diverse communities” Mr Olsen says.

“We have an unprecedented opportunity in New Zealand to lead the world in adaptable housing design, Mayor Len Brown has outlined his vision for Auckland to be the most liveable city in the world and the Christchurch rebuild provides the means to design and build houses to meet the needs of all people.

Mr Olsen is quick to remind, that the population is rapidly ageing and much of New Zealand’s current housing stock is not built to accommodate the needs of an older generation.

“Which is where the government investment will help promote and encourage the uptake of the Lifemark Design Standards in all future residential building developments.

Having recently signed agreements with both the Christchurch City Council and retirement development provider BUPA, which will see a further 900 new houses built per year meeting minimum Lifemark 3 star requirements, Lifemark has already had some great success in promoting the benefits of adaptable and accessible housing to local government and national developers alike.

"Now that the government has seen the benefits of supporting a proactive push for adaptable and accessible housing, the true show of leadership would require Housing New Zealand Corporation and the Social Housing Unit to deliver all state housing to the Lifemark, New Zealand’s only residential accessible design standard,” Mr Olsen goes on to say.

“Getting the green light today builds on these successes and is a remarkable acknowledgement of the work that Lifemark have done to improve the way we build our homes and residential developments. Homes that are affordable, adaptable, and accessible for all persons have to be the way of the future.” Mr Olsen says.

ENDS

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