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Community inclusion organisation, annecto-the people network, are calling on the housing industry to lead the way to increase opportunities for people with disability to live in their own home.

The call comes following the release of the Summer Foundation report “Learning from the Abbotsford Housing Demonstration Project” last week.

 

The report prepared by Dr Chris Fyffe, outlines the successful collaboration of four organisations, with a shared vision for people with complex disability to live independently in their homes and community environments.

The report not only provides a guide to organisations embarking on similar projects, but also informs “how to develop and manage a flexible and non-standard project.”

annecto – the people network, General Manager Adam Schickerling believes the pilot project provides a much needed new approach on how to move toward an inclusive and sustainable housing model for people with disability and those experiencing disadvantage.

“As we approach July 2016 and the full roll out of the National Disability Insurance Scheme, we need to encourage the private sector to invest in these innovative housing models. This can lead to long term systematic housing reform and over the long term, contribute to the economic benefits sited by the Productivity Commission when the NDIS was first introduced”

Robert Pradolin of Fraser Property believes we cannot afford to ignore this “unloved sector of the property market” as problems will compound if definitive action isn’t taken. 

“We can’t rely solely on government money to fix the shortage of housing,  The figures are in and we know the economic benefit to the community of providing public, social and affordable housing in the right locations.”

At 46, Vince Alacastro lives in a nursing home near his family in Mildura.  Vince also has 3 cousins in their 40’s and 50’s living in aged care accommodation as there is no opportunity to live in their own home.

“I have lived in the nursing home for the last 10 months – it’s not bad, but I would rather live with young people.    I miss not being able to do what I want, when I want, like going to the pub for a meal.  I’m lucky that I have a great family who visit me all the time and take me out every Saturday and Sunday to my Mum and Dad’s house, and I never miss a family gathering.”

annecto are one of four organiations to collaborate on the Abbotsford Housing Project with 6 tenants residing in their own apartments in the trendy suburb of Abbotsford.

Purpose built fit outs and the use of assistive technology combine to provide tenants the basis for independent living.

annecto’s inclusion support model moves away from the traditional support  model, with an emphasis on enabling and building capacity.

For Vince and his cousins, access to independent housing is a far cry from living in a nursing home.

“I am happy to tell my story if it means that someone listens and helps me and others live somewhere other than a nursing home.”

With this first of its kind housing project now well underway, the success of further projects lies with a commitment by the housing industry to investigate how they can incorporate the Abbotsford model into future developments.

 

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