accessible homes

New standard for accessible homes announced

Wednesday, November 25, 2020

CSA Group is developing a new, national standard for affordable, adaptable and accessible homes that will form the foundation of a new Rick Hansen Foundation Accessibility Certification (RHFAC) module to help rate the accessibility of residences.

Based on the National Standard of Canada, CSA B651-18, Accessible design for the built environment, RHFAC is the only national program that rates, certifies and celebrates the meaningful accessibility of buildings from the perspective of persons with mobility, vision and hearing disabilities.

The standard will help support the development of affordable and adaptable accessible homes across Canada by providing evidence-informed guidance, and the application of new and existing knowledge related to best practices for the design, construction, and modification of affordable and adaptable accessible homes. RHF will provide expertise in housing accessibility as a member of the advisory panel that will help guide the standard’s development.

“Having the opportunity to age at home is increasingly important to Canadians, and the need for accessible housing in Canada is a huge issue,” says Brad McCannell, vice-president of access and inclusion at the Rick Hansen Foundation. “We’re thrilled that CSA Group will be developing this new residential standard and to incorporate it into RHFAC to help industry address this critical gap.”

Public polling released by the Angus Reid Institute in January 2019 shows that one in three Canadians have issues getting around their own home and a majority are anticipating challenges moving around at home in the future.

The federal government, through the National Housing Strategy (NHS) delivered by Canada Mortgage and Housing Corporation (CMHC), is providing $190,000 in funding to CSA Group to support research and the development of this new standard, which is scheduled to be published in May 2022.

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