Affordable housing must be designed with accessibility in mind


After decades of more or less ignoring this pressing social need, the federal government is poised to enact a new strategy on housing – and it will line up with a new law in Ontario, announced this week, that will allow municipalities to demand affordable housing from developers. This represents an opportunity to transform the lives of many citizens and, broadly, our cities. Vaughan signalled that the Liberal campaign promise of nearly $20-billion over 10 years for “social infrastructure” will help fund housing.18.

Universal Design (UD) is an approach to design that increases the potential for developing a better quality of life for a wide range of individuals. It is a design process that enables and empowers a diverse population by improving human performance, health and wellness, and social participation (Steinfeld and Maisel, 2012). It creates products, systems, and environments to be as usable as possible by as many people as possible regardless of age, ability or situation.