Accessibility Planning Program 2009


Appendix III

3. Universal Accessibility Standards for New Affordable Housing Projects

In its commitment to accessibility for all residents, Peel Regional Council approved the first ever Region of Peel Universal Accessibility Standards (UAS) applicable to all new social housing projects developed by the Region. The UAS was developed through an active collaboration between the Region of Peel Accessibility Advisory Committee (AAC), Regional staff and sector partners.

A report submitted to Council by the Human Services Department stated that with an increase in the aging population the demand for more accessible units in Peel is on rise. One in four seniors aged 65 and over lives alone, a rate which is expected to double by 2026. In addition to the seniors, people with disabilities of all ages need access to affordable and accessible housing. According to 2006 Statistic Canada Survey, approximately 15 per cent of the Ontarians have reported to have some form of disability.

To meet the rising demand for accessible units Regional Council approved the UAS by adopting the Resolution 2009-340, which reads.

That the “2008 Universal Accessibility Standards for Affordable Residential Properties” (UAS) be adopted as a preferred development standard for inclusion in design and development of future Region of Peel affordable housing projects;

  • And further, that the UAS be incorporated into the Region of Peel Affordable Housing Design Guidelines for consideration subject to feasibility analysis, project characteristics and cost;
  • And further, that the Accessibility Advisory Committee (AAC) review all future affordable housing projects in collaboration with Development & Construction staff to determine opportunities to incorporate UAS and to ensure ongoing compliance;
  • And further, that the AAC, in collaboration with Regional staff, complete an annual evaluation to determine the efficacy of the UAS and make revisions as appropriate;
  • And further, that a copy of the UAS document be sent to the Province of Ontario with a view to inform the legislative process and advocate for funding to support the implementation of the UAS.

Current housing market conditions in Peel demands more accessible options so more residents can stay in their home, safely and independently. The UAS would allow the Region to set the bar higher in addressing a variety of needs for residents who will be occupying future housing developments. By designing adequate turning radius space for wheelchairs and automatic doorways for common areas the Region is able to cater to a wide range of needs in the marketplace.

To view the UAS report, visit where you will also find an interactive webpage that will highlight the differences between a standard one-bedroom apartment and one that has been modified as a fully accessible unit.

Standard - One Bed Room Suite

Standard - One Bed Room Suite

Barrier Free - One Bed Room Suite

Barrier Free - One Bed Room Suite

The AAC will continue to 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.

Recipients of 2009 AAC Accessibility Awards
Recipients of 2009 AAC Accessibility Awards

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