BRAMPTON, ON. (May 13, 2009) – In its commitment to accessibility for all residents, Peel Regional Council has approved a report on Universal Accessibility Standards (UAS) for new social housing projects developed by the Region. The UAS was developed through a collaboration between the Region of Peel Accessibility Advisory Committee (AAC), Regional staff and sector partners.
“This is a first for the Region,” said Peel Regional Chair Emil Kolb. “By setting up a standard like the UAS in the design and development of our future affordable housing projects, the Region is aligning with the province’s legislative agenda to ensure greater accessibility for residents.”
“The Accessibility Advisory Committee is pleased that the Region of Peel is leading the way in establishing guidelines for universal accessibility in its new affordable housing projects,” said William Goursky, Chair of the AAC. “Universal access means that anyone, regardless of ability or age, will be able to live in their home without barriers.”
According to the report to Council, as the Region’s population ages, so does the need for more accessible units in Peel. One in four seniors aged 65 and over lives alone, a rate which is expected to double by 2026. Yet, accessibility concerns people of all ages; it is reported that over 15 per cent of Ontarians have some form of disability.
“The housing market is demanding more accessible options,” said Keith Ward, Commissioner of Human Services. “The UAS helps us set the bar higher in addressing a variety of needs for residents who will be occupying any of our future housing developments. We’re now thinking in terms of turning radius space for wheelchairs and automatic doorways for common areas, which is the right thing to do when trying to cater to a range of needs in the marketplace.”
To view the UAS report, visit www.peelbuilds.ca where you will also find an interactive webpage that will highlight the differences between a standard one-bedroom and one that has been modified as a fully accessible unit.
The UAS will also be incorporated into the Region of Peel Affordable Housing Design Guidelines for application in future regional housing developments, subject to site-specific feasibility analysis, project characteristics and cost. The AAC will also provide input into all future affordable housing projects to determine opportunities to incorporate UAS and to ensure ongoing compliance.
The Accessibility for Ontarians with Disabilities Act (AODA) seeks to remove all barriers in the Province of Ontario by the year 2025 and create an accessible Ontario. The UAS document is an important resource to assist the Region of Peel in achieving its goal to create accessible housing options that provide independence and inclusiveness for all abilities. The Region has sent its UAS report to the Province to help inform the legislative process and advocate for funding to support its implementation.
For more information on accessibility, visit www.peelregion.ca/corpserv/makingway.
The Regional Municipality of Peel was incorporated in 1974 on the principle that certain community and infrastructure services are most cost-effectively administered over a larger geographic area. The Region of Peel serves more than one million residents in the Cities of Brampton and Mississauga and the Town of Caledon.
For more information on the Region of Peel, please call 905-791-7800, or visit www.peelregion.ca.