Home on the horizon for ‘supported independent living’

21st Nov 2018 – Andrew Korner | The Queensland Times


WORK has started on a project to provide dedicated housing for people with a physical and intellectual disabilities.

Disability provider Empowered to Care joined forces with 1Plus1 Property Pathways to negotiate the construction and leasing of the three houses, which will be built in the new Waterlea Estate at Walloon over the next six months.

The four-bedroom houses are designed to accommodate three disabled residents and a carer, in a scenario that has been described as “supported independent living”.

The homes will be owned by a private investor and rented to each of the residents, who must by NDIS registered and eligible for supported independent living.

Empowered to Care representative Jo-Anne Daley said the pilot project came about due to a dire need for housing for people such as her sister Bonnie Cox, 19, who suffers a severe intellectual disability due to Angelman Syndrome.

“The need is huge. The last figures I saw showed that for every room that becomes available, 70 people will be on the waiting list,” Ms Daley said.

“The numbers of disabled people in nursing homes and hospitals is huge. Every aged care centre has young adults with early onset dementia or acquired brain injury.

“The biggest difference with this project is that there are areas for family members to stay on short notice.”

The project is entirely privately funded, although Ms Daley said Empowered to Care was in the process of applying for government funding to expand the idea further.

1Plus1 Property Pathways’ Kevin Humphreys said client interest in the houses was strong on the back of word of mouth.

“This is just the pilot,” he said.

“We are planning the second project in Toowoomba early next year.

“We have done no marketing or advertising of note, yet we can’t do this to the scale required to meet the need that is out there.”

Blair MP Shayne Neumann commended the partnership, which he said would help people live with dignity.

“I think if this works the prospects of further support at a state and federal level will be enhanced,” Mr Neumann said.

“We are looking at the prototype here, but it could be the start of something big.”