October 14, 2016

CREATING INCLUSIVE COMMUNITIES KEY TO NEW UNITS FOR YOUNG PEOPLE WITH DISABILITIES

A $1.8 million housing development in Ballarat is at the centre of a new, more inclusive community for eight young people living with disabilities.

The four units, in Albert Street, Sebastopol were opened today by State Member for Buninyong, Geoff Howard. The project is a collaboration between the Department of Health and Human Services (DHHS), McCallum Disability Services and Housing Choices Australia (HCA), with funding from the Commonwealth and Victorian Governments and McCallum Disability Services.

HCA Managing Director Michael Lennon said the units were designed so they were spacious, modern, open plan and, most importantly, tailored to residents’ needs. The development is also close to shops, public transport and other services.

“It’s a more innovative supported independent living rather than a traditional group home,” Mr Lennon said.

“Here at Albert Street, there will be a lot more personal space for people but equally, the opportunity to forge connections and friendships within the development, the neighbourhood and the wider community.

“I can see this being more than a new home for residents. It will be a new start – a chance to spread their wings with just the right level of support. I know it will also bring an enormous amount of relief, assurance and hope for the future for their parents and families as well.”

McCallum Chief Executive Officer Tyrone McCuskey said there were four two bedroom units and one one-bedroom unit for staff.

“The unit complex is staffed 24 hours a day seven days a week by McCallum staff with a sleepover model of support.” Mr McCuskey said.

“The intent is to maintain local connections for each resident so they can live life their way and play an active role in their community.

“McCallum is committed to providing flexible, innovative, person-centred and family focussed support to people with a disability and our involvement in this project is testament to that.”

Geoff Howard, State Member for Buninyong welcomed the partnership between government and frontline service providers to create new and innovative accommodation options for young people with disability.

“Young people with disability often find themselves placed in aged care facilities, where they struggle to make connections with people they can relate to,” Mr Howard said.

“These innovative new independent living units will result in improved outcomes for the young people living here.

“I congratulate McCallum and Housing Choices Australia for bringing this fantastic proposal to government, which provides age-appropriate supported accommodation for the people living in these units.

“The Andrews Labor Government is working to make Victoria fairer and more inclusive for the one in five Victorians who have a disability.”

HCA is a leading national not-for-profit housing association which manages more than 3,900 tenancies throughout Australia including Victoria, Tasmania and through Common Ground in Adelaide.