Disability housing needs being met

A PARTNERSHIP between CatholicCare and disability support service Nexus will see 20 beds made available for people with a disability over the next six months.

CatholicCare is a major social housing property developer in Tasmania and with the help of an Australian Government grant, is working with Nexus to design and build new supported accommodation houses.

Two of the new homes being built in Chigwell will support older clients, many of whom came from Willow Court when the facility shut down.

The properties have been co-designed by Nexus and CatholicCare to meet the specific needs of each client.

Nexus chief executive officer Mark Jessop said many people in the older National Disability Insurance Scheme (NDIS) age cohorts would want to try living away from home.

“And with aging parents themselves, this is becoming a necessity for many,” he said.

“As the NDIS rolls out the final two age groups of 35 to 49-year-olds and 50 to 64-year-olds, it is expected that the number of people with NDIS funding plans in Tasmania will increase from 4000 to 11,500, and many receiving funding for the very first time.”

CatholicCare executive director Tim Gourlay said this collaboration between two not-for-profit partners was a “fantastic model” that met the needs of the NDIS.

He said it formed part of the broader commitment to develop social and affordable housing across Tasmania.

“Many of these people could be at risk of homelessness or living in substandard accommodation so we are building modern, comfortable accommodation that anyone would be proud to call their home,” he said.

“These homes have the technology and facilities to provide the very best contemporary care, including ceiling tracking to monitor the safety of clients and 15-amp power points to charge wheelchairs.”

Mr Jessop estimated that when these properties were completed in October they would create employment for three permanent full time, 10 permanent part time and a number of casual staff.

The mix of beds that these new builds are creating means Nexus will be able to refocus some of its existing properties.

It will look at a “share house” model for younger people close to the city, a higher support home for people with a physical disability and the addition of four single and two double new units in Glenorchy.

Nexus supports 170 people with a disability in southern Tasmania, with eight residences in the Glenorchy municipality.

Since the commencement of the NDIS in 2014, Nexus has grown substantially from 36 clients to its current number.

This has also created a great deal of local employment, with Nexus growing from about 80 staff to a mix of 200 permanent and casual positions currently.

Caption: Tim Gourlay from CatholicCare with Mark Jessop and Alison Hodges from Nexus.