Accessible homes bridge gap providing options for people living with disability

Four women living with disabilities will soon move into a brand new home specially designed to provide a supported, independent living arrangement on the Sunshine Coast.

The home has been specially designed to cater to their needs and will have a support worker onsite 24 hours a day.

Garry Bates’ sister Tessa is one of the women moving into the new home and said the women’s excitement was palpable.

“You can see how excited they are. For goodness’ sake they’re beside themselves, and everybody else is happy for them too,” he said.

Mr Bates said it was important his sister Tessa would have independence while being able to access support.(ABC News: Olivia Mason)

The women have previously lived together in another supported living arrangement.

“They’re always having a party, they just love each other,” Mr Bates said.

“It just makes my partner and I feel so good every time we visit them.”

The home at Buderim was built as part of the Endeavour Foundation’s My Home, My Life program, with the not-for-profit charity investing $45 million into building 70 new homes and renovating 26 others to help Australians with disability into accessible housing across Queensland.

The home features adjustable bench tops, large doorways, reinforced walls for grab rails, and accessible pathways.(ABC News: Olivia Mason)

Mr Bates said the program was helping address a significant shortage of housing options for people living with disability.

“There’s a huge need and there’s a backlog. There’s not enough housing for everybody in Australia at the moment, but particularly for those with disabilities who can’t speak for themselves,” he said.

Mr Bates said housing options like this were a relief to families.

“I remember on a Q&A, when the NDIS was first being developed, there was a very old man in the audience and [he spoke some] very, very important words,” Mr Bates said.

“He got up and he was very shaky and he said ‘I just want to know when I’ll be allowed to die’, because he was there for his [disabled] son and nobody else was.

“We shouldn’t be doing that in Australia. We should be able to say ‘you’ve done your bit and we can step in’, and that’s what Endeavour does.”

‘Best house on the street’

The CEO of the Endeavour Foundation, David Swain, said the home was carefully designed to cater for diverse needs.

“If you can go into the bathroom by yourself, shower yourself, open a door yourself, go into the kitchen and prepare your own meals because you’ve got adjustable height benches, all of those little things … make a big difference,” he said.

He said it was one of three Endeavour homes now completed on the Sunshine Coast, with more on the way.

“When you walk in they feel palatial, they feel beautiful,” he said.

Mr Swain said the house was funded partly by the NDIS, but mostly by public donations through things like home lotteries.

He said the organisation was also able to assist people with finding work.

“If you’re living with a disability and you’re looking for a job and you haven’t been able to get on to that ladder of employment, give us a call,” he said.

Garry Bates said the women would be a positive addition to the Buderim community.

“The community is lucky enough to have people like this living in their area. They’re good people,” he said.

“It’s a big program, a big undertaking, and it’s one that’s going to have a legacy now which is wonderful.”

Article source: Queensland Property Investor

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