Building Accessible Homes from Day One

The Canada Mortgage and Housing Corporation (CMHC) commissioned a research project to examine the costs of including features in the construction phase that could enhance the accessibility and adaptability of new homes. The findings of this study estimated that these features would increase construction costs of the selected designs by six to 12 percent; however it would enable homes to better respond to the changing needs of the growing senior population in Canada.

The potential benefits of the adaptable features in housing articulated in the study include “A longer period of independent living, the retention of residents’ established support services, maintaining residents’ existing social links, and continued participation in the community.” Christina Haddad, regional vice-president for Ontario at Canada Mortgage and Housing Corporation states that “The additional costs of including up to 60 design features to make a newly constructed home accessible or adaptable in the future are not insignificant. They are nonetheless much lower than the cost of converting an existing dwelling in order to make it accessible.”

To learn more about the findings in this research project of the Canada Mortgage and Housing Corporation, click here.