Types of ACC housing modifications

Enable New Zealand manages four types of housing modifications for ACC.

  • Grab rail installations (48 hours urgent, 5 days non-urgent).
  • Minor modifications ― changes that don’t need building consent.
  • Standard modifications ― changes that need building consent.
  • Complex modifications ― changes that need building consent and extend the footprint of the house.

A housing assessor for ACC (independent occupational therapist) identifies what type of modifications are needed.  

Grab rails

  • Installation of internal/external grab rails (standard ‘off-the-shelf’ lengths).
  • Commonly installed in the bath, shower, toilet, and back and front doors.
  • Note: A housing assessment is not required for grab rail installations. An ACC case owner or health professional can request this service.

Minor modifications

Modifications that do not require building consent include:

  • custom-made internal and external handrails
  • minor ramps less than 1m high
  • decks/landings less than 1m high
  • easy steps less than 1m high
  • low rise lifts
  • stair lifts (chair)
  • door widening
  • fencing/gates
  • hand-held showers.

Standard modifications

Modifications that require building consent include:

  • ramps exceeding 1m high and/or requiring multiple changes in direction
  • decks/landings in excess of 1m high
  • bathroom modifications including wet area showers
  • stair lifts (platform)
  • covered transfer areas
  • fencing/gates (building consent required)
  • kitchen/laundry modifications.

Complex modifications

Complex modifications need building consent and may extend the footprint of the house. They include:

  • extra bedrooms
  • ensuite bathrooms
  • extension of existing living spaces
  • through-floor lifts
  • new builds.