Call for regulatory reforms to improve housing resilience

The Building Stronger Homes Roundtable wants codes, standards, and land use planning systems revised to promote housing resilience.

The roundtable was established by the Insurance Council of Australia (ICA) and Master Builders Australia (MBA) to discuss policy changes that make buildings throughout Australia more resilient.

ICA chief executive officer Andrew Hall said increased collaboration was needed between industry, government, and the community to boost building resilience.

“At present, there is no system in place in Australia to assess and record the level of resilience in a building, making it difficult for insurers to adjust premiums accordingly.

“While new homes need to be built to be more resilient, it is imperative they remain affordable and that new homeowners are able to enter the market,” Mr Hall said.

He was speaking at the third roundtable held in Sydney recently and attended by representatives from the state and federal government; Standard Australia; the Australian Building Codes Board; and the real estate and architecture industries.

The representatives recommended:

  • Simpler and cost-effective access to standards for builders and inspectors to support compliance;
  • Land use planning reforms that better incorporate the experience and insights of the insurance and building industries in the aftermath of natural disasters;
  • Increased government incentives to invest in resilience measures when building new homes to improve their durability;
  • Development of resilience information tools that assist the industry and consumers in building more resilient homes; and
  • Establishment of an information-sharing hub between the government and the industry to share risk information, land planning data, and building experience.

The Building Stronger Homes Roundtable will hold its final meeting in June 2021.