Disability housing initiative meeting demand

MOVING day is coming up for five Tasmanians living with a disability who will be relocating to disability services provider Nexus’ supported living home in Hobart’s northern suburbs.

This is the first property to be rolled out in a program that is creating 33 new beds for people living with a disability in southern Tasmania.

In an environment where the housing market is tight, people who require more specialised housing are often forced out of the market.

The new property, located in Abbotsfield Road, Claremont, has been developed in conjunction with CatholicCare, a major social housing property developer in Tasmania.

A Federal Government grant has been used to meet growing demand in the sector.

Nexus chief executive officer Mark Jessop said the home would improve support to a group of older clients and has been designed to meet the specific needs of each client moving in.

“As the National Disability Insurance Scheme (NDIS) enters the final roll out in January 2019 for people aged 50 to 64 years of age, it is expected that the number of people with NDIS funding plans in Tasmania will increase from 4000 to 11,500,” he said.

“Many of those people in the older age cohorts want to try living away from the family home and with aging parents themselves, this is becoming a necessity for many.”

CatholicCare executive director Tim Gourlay said this collaboration was a fantastic model that met the needs of the NDIS and formed part of its broader commitment to develop social and affordable housing across Tasmania.

“Many of these people could be at risk of homelessness or living in sub-standard 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 for aging clients through to little things like having 15-amp power points to charge wheelchairs.”

Mr Jessop said the new property had created employment for three permanent full-time, seven permanent part-time and a number of casual staff.

By the final roll out, Nexus expects to have employed an additional 50 staff.

“In creating 33 new beds, this partnership with CatholicCare means that Nexus can refocus some of its existing properties with a ‘share house’ model for younger people close to the city and develop more higher support beds for people with a physical disability,” Mr Jessop said.

Nexus currently supports 170 people living with a disability in southern Tasmania.

Caption: From left, CatholicCare executive director Tim Gourlay, Minister for Housing Roger Jaensch and Nexus chief executive officer Mark Jessop.