Major Housing Redevelopment to Benefit People with Disability
Thursday, 2nd April 2015 at 9:11 am
Not for Profit disability housing providers have welcomed a South Australian Government plan that will see 4500 houses houses bulldozed to make way for smaller, one and two bedroom dwellings.
The plan is part of a pledge by the Weatherill Government to renew all old Housing Trust homes located within 10 kilometres of the Adelaide city centre.
The South Australian Housing Trust (SAHT) was a statutory authority established by the State Government responsible for providing low-cost rental housing to disadvantaged people. It was renamed Housing SA and is now known as Department for Communities and Social Inclusion.
Not for Profit, the Julia Farr Housing Association (JFHA) Chief Operating Officer, Geoff Barber, said the renewal program would help create housing that better suits people with special needs.
“Older houses are often difficult to navigate for people with reduced mobility. They were built back in a time when little thought was given to ensuring people living with disability could live in their own home,” Barber said.
“It’s a reality that many people living with disability live on reduced income and require affordable housing. A program of this type provides an opportunity to upgrade and construct new dwellings which better respond to the needs of people of all abilities.”
But Barber said the Government should set targets for housing numbers to be consistent with universal design principles which allow people of all abilities to live within, and connect to, their community.
Barber said in 2010, Australian housing leaders agreed to provide minimum access features in all new housing by 2020.
“Even once the dwellings are built we’ll need a good property matching service. It would be a shame to have houses with improved building access but fail to ensure the people who need these features are living in them,” he said.
“We encourage the Government to continue to work in partnership with local, specialised community housing providers to achieve this target. We believe the Government should focus its contribution toward these projects to include outcomes for people living with disability and other people living with increased vulnerability.
“We will be writing to Renewal SA to highlight Julia Farr Housing Association as an ideal joint venture partner. We bring expertise in design as well as home ownership and tenancy management.”
JFHA is a specialist Not for Profit disability housing provider.