Housing solution designed to directly address need for more specialist disability accommodation in Albany

A new housing development in central Albany is set to provide some relief for community members requiring specialist disability accommodation as well as additional affordable housing options.

A joint venture between the Community Living Association, Advance Housing, WAI Group, G Living and Fortitude Living will see three new SDA offerings constructed at 77 Stead Road.

The SDA will each be able to comfortably house three participants along with one carer as required.

They will feature wide corridors, step-free pathways, an ensuite for each bedroom, be fully furnished and have the ability to be customised according to client needs.

Fortitude Living and G Living’s Gianpaolo Crugnale said the project had been in the pipeline for more than three years and everyone involved was very happy it had reached the stage where work was being done on site.

He said centrally located sites, such as the one they had been able to secure in Albany, are very important “especially for those with limited mobility is a priority”.

“We are incredibly happy because we understand the disability housing needs of Albany via our many community discussions, and look forward to being a part of the solution,” he said.

“Sites of this nature are difficult to come by, and this site in particular required a lot of site works, to ensure suitability.”

Mr Crugnale said the partnership with CLA and Advance Housing came about because WAI recognised them as “leaders in their field in this region” and discussions about local requirements determined it would be “an excellent fit”.

CLA chief executive Russell Nelson said there was a “significant need” for more SDA across Australia and it was “more so in regional areas like Albany”.

He said many people with disabilities live in “inappropriate or unsuitable accommodation” and that having your own space was “essential to anyone’s sense of independence and wellbeing, and this is particularly true for individuals living with disabilities”.

“From an emotional and psychological perspective, having one’s own space can provide a sense of control and autonomy, which is… particularly meaningful for people living with disabilities who may often find their choices limited by various factors,” he said.

Groundwork has already started on the site, which neighbours Dowsetts Automotive Services, and the advertised expected completion date is August next year.

It will then take a further two months to fully prepare the units and houses for clients to move into in October.

Mr Nelson said the long-term benefits and cost savings of building purpose-built homes would help CLA continue to provide high-quality support to its clients.

He said upfront costs would reduce ongoing modification and maintenance costs will improving the quality of life of people living with disabilities.

“It’s also crucial to remember that providing suitable, accessible housing is a key part of upholding the rights of people with disabilities,” he said.

“CLA anticipates that over the next two to three years it will be involved in the construction and consequent support services to in excess of 25+ NDIS Specialist Disability Accommodation rooms.

“The other anticipated knock-on effect will be the releasing of numerous properties back into the pool for persons of disability who do not currently meet the SDA requirements.”

A further nine affordable accommodation units will be built behind the three SDA houses, which will be built at the front of the block.

Plans for the accommodation show there will be seven two-bedroom units and two one-bedroom units.

“During community consultation, along with specialist disability accommodation, it was clear affordable housing was also very much needed,” Mr Crugnale said.

“As a part of the development, a majority has been set aside for affordable housing.”

Advance Housing chief executive John Lysaught will undertake the management of the housing service element of the project.

“Advance Housing takes the view that no one party has the capacity to respond to all the needs in this community,” he said.

“By working with our community service partners, and in this case private developers and investors, the increasing range and number of housing options becoming available can only be a very good thing.”