CARERS and their dependents needing high-level disability support will benefit from an innovative new housing development in Glenhaven Estate in Sale.
Gippsland MHR Darren Chester said the Freedom Housing project, led by the George Gray Centre in Maffra, had been granted more than $1 million in government funding to enable the project to proceed.
The concept involves building four houses interconnected by a common personal care area.
A resident with a disability lives in each of the four houses.
Mr Chester said local families and carers had advocated strongly for the project.
“All of the families involved in this project provide a loving and caring environment for their dependents, and want to ensure this same level of care will be provided into the future,” Mr Chester said.
“The Freedom Housing concept will provide ongoing care for their loved ones, while also ensuring the carers themselves get the support they need.”
Mr Chester said it was great news that Gippsland would become the first region to adopt this type of accommodation, and he was pleased to have supported George Gray Centre through the funding process.
George Gray Centre chief executive Ian Hunt said the model would address a gap in high-needs support accommodation in Gippsland.
“The families involved have carers that are in an older age bracket and are becoming more aware they need to do some forward planning to ensure the future accommodation needs of their dependents are met,” Mr Hunt said.
“Other accommodation available in Gippsland has been found to be unsuitable, and in some cases the only option is for them to leave their home region, which can lead to a traumatic upheaval.
“The families involved have a strong commitment to the Freedom Housing project and we appreciate the support given to us by the wider Wellington community.”
Mr Hunt said George Gray Centre management committed many hours to the submission, and without the support of parents and Mr Chester, this opportunity may not have eventuated.
Two of the houses will be privately paid for, and owned by aging parents supporting a dependent with a disability.
The remaining two houses will be owned by the George Centre and leased to two families with aging carers and their adult dependents with a disability.
Families, the George Gray Centre and North Gippsland Trust will provide $1.5 million towards the project.
The Australian Government funding, provided through the Department of Social Services, will be used solely for the construction of the two George Gray Centre houses and half of the Freedom Key personal care facility.