Grant to enable upgrades to housing for people with disability

St John of God Accord was recently awarded a Commonwealth Government grant to upgrade and improve ageing homes for clients with disability to make them suitable for residents as they get older.

The $480,000 Department of Health grant will be used to upgrade existing houses for clients who were aged 65 of older when the National Disability Insurance Scheme (NDIS) was implemented in their region, and are excluded from the NDIS.

St John of God Accord Chief Executive Officer Lisa Evans said upgrading the houses would make them more accessible and liveable.

“Many of our houses are dated and haven’t been upgraded since they were built in the 1970s, they have narrow corridors, small bathrooms and are not accessible for people who may need to use mobility aids as they age,” she said.

“The houses that our clients moved into in their 20s and 30s aren’t meeting the needs now as they move towards their 60s and 70s. This funding is giving us the opportunity to look at what our housing model looks like for older clients.

“We are currently reviewing our housing stock to identify which houses are suitable for upgrading, where we can decamp and opportunities for new builds.”

People were aged 65 years or older when the NDIS was implemented were not incorporated into the new scheme and are instead supported by the Continuity of Support Scheme.

The funding is specific to those clients.

“We are really pleased to receive this funding which will enable us to make essential and important upgrades to the building stock, but it will also bring a level of pride for our clients and our caregivers,” she said.

“While the houses do need upgrading, the amazing spirit and feeling that our caregivers and clients share is still there. We want to harness that and nurture it as we upgrade the buildings.”