Livable housing design standard

To reflect current community aspirations of becoming a more inclusive society, the phase in of the Modern Homes' Livable Housing Design Standard (LHDS) commenced on 1 October 2023.

What this means

Under this standard, new houses and units must be designed and constructed so they are more accessible to the elderly, people with disability, families with young children and those with temporary mobility injuries.

New homes must include:

  • at least 1 step-free entry
  • slightly wider internal doors and corridors
  • 1 step-free access into a bathroom and shower
  • an accessible toilet
  • reinforcing of bathroom and toilet walls to allow for handrails.


A new Queensland Development Code 4.5 has been developed to support industry’s transition with:

  • an 18-month exemption (until 31 March 2025) from the LHDS for narrow lots (frontage of 12.5 metres or less) and small pre-built houses (subject to meeting certain criteria)
  • clarification that repairs and maintenance don't automatically trigger a requirement to meet the new standard
  • clarification about when major renovations must comply
  • alternative, cost-effective compliance pathways for showers and grading to floor wastes in wet areas
  • an exemption from installing a toilet on the entry level when no habitable rooms exist on that level.


Building new house and units under the standard will help people:

  • improve economic and social participation in society
  • ease a reliance on care services
  • remove the need for relocation to more suitable accommodation
  • prevent extended hospital stays and transition care (if applicable).

Ensuring new houses and units are compliant can cost, on average, as little as 1% of the average building cost.

General enquiries

Visit the Australian Building Codes Board website .

Also consider: