Specialist disability accommodation helps people live in the community

NEW MODEL: Greg Budworth (Compass) Charles Northcote (BlueCHP) The Hon Gareth Ward MP, Lisa Tierney (Compass) and Helga Smit (Compass) at an inspection of one of its Hunter Residences program homes. Pictures courtesy of Gravity Films' Tom Blake.
NEW MODEL: Greg Budworth (Compass) Charles Northcote (BlueCHP) The Hon Gareth Ward MP, Lisa Tierney (Compass) and Helga Smit (Compass) at an inspection of one of its Hunter Residences program homes. Pictures courtesy of Gravity Films' Tom Blake.

Modern, purpose built, specialist disability accommodation (SDA) is providing people with a high level of disability the chance to enjoy living in the community rather than in institutions.

NSW Minister for Families, Communities and Disability Services, The Hon Gareth Ward MP, was recently in the Hunter, inspecting one of 65 new group homes being built as part of its Hunter Residences program. The purpose-built, five-bedroom home at Morisset will be a new home for residents transferring from the NSW Government's soon to be closed Kanangra centre.

Compass Housing Services is part of the Home4Life consortia which is financing, building and managing the homes across NSW for 325 residents who are also transferring from the Stockton and Tomaree centres.

Compass Housing Services group managing director Greg Budworth accompanied Minister Ward on the inspection. Mr Budworth said safe, affordable, housing was a fundamental human right.

"We believe people with disabilities have a right to live in a community, rather than an institution, and to participate fully in that community," Mr Budworth said.

"This is a new way of delivering contemporary, high quality, specialist disability accommodation."

WELCOME: A the smoking ceremony is held as part of a recent visit by NSW Minister for Families, Communities and Disability Services Gareth Ward MP.

WELCOME: A the smoking ceremony is held as part of a recent visit by NSW Minister for Families, Communities and Disability Services Gareth Ward MP.

Mr Budworth said, with more than 200 residents having already transferred to their new home for life, he has seen how living in these purpose-built homes is changing those residents' lives for the better. Mr Ward said that smaller living arrangements provided opportunities for people with disability to participate more in the community, gain greater choice and control and receive tailored supports.

The other Home4Life partners are BlueCHP who has designed and built the homes and LightHouse Infrastructure has helped to finance the program.

Compass will manage and maintain the properties. The government has selected six Supported Independent Living (SIL) organisations to provide, highly specialised, 24-hour support at the group homes.

Compass has some limited vacancies in the new group homes, which are available to people who have SDA in their National Disability Insurance Scheme plan.

Mr Budworth said Compass has a long and successful history of managing homes for people with high and complex levels of support. It is one of the largest SDA providers in Australia, managing around 1070 SDA places. Compass is a Newcastle-based, Tier 1, not for profit community housing provider and an NDIS Specialist Disability Accommodation provider. It manages almost 7000 properties in NSW and Queensland, including properties for people with disabilities.

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