Many parents worry about keeping their children safe and happy, however, parents of adult children with disabilities have additional worries – where their children will live in the future, especially when they’re gone.
The National Disability Insurance Scheme (NDIS) provide their own specialist accommodation for disabled people. However, a major downfall is that only 6% of recipients are eligible, leaving many more in need of suitable accommodation.
Using a new financial model, it is hoped that disabled people will have a chance at living a semi-independent life, with the first home having been built in Bendigo, Victoria.
Aaron Bowman has lived at home with his parents, James and Yvonne, all his life. The 45-year-old has Cerebal Palsy, Autism and an intellectual disability meaning that he requires full-time care. The Bowmans bought Aaron a house a few years ago with the plan that he could live a semi-independent life there, however, they were forced to sell when costs becoming too high trying to adapt for Aaron to live in.
A number of other solutions where researched, from group homes to aged care, then the family found out about the new housing model and quickly put a deposit down. The house is under shared ownership, believed to be the first of its kind in Australia and will be owned by three people with a disability.
Each person will get their own private bedroom, bathroom and courtyard with the kitchen and living room being communal. An additional bedroom is available for a carer.
The house will cost around $300,000 per individual with the developers thinking long and hard about how the title deeds would work. Mr McDermott, one of the developers said: “The trust is designed so that if in years to come, someone wants to either move on or sell their part of the home, they can do so easily without having to unravel the title”.
The house is built especially to cater for a variety of disabilities and comes fully furnished. The passageways have been stretched and the bathroom walls have been strengthened. There are hopes that the three occupants can share their NDIS benefits for services such as cleaning and transport.
The developers know that the house model won’t be for everyone, but the demand is already high and will hopefully take away some stress from the oversubscribed specialist disability accommodation from the NDIS.
The Bowman’s are over the moon that Aaron is going to have a comfortable place to live and are on the hunt for two compatible housemates for him.
“What we would like is for him to have a lifestyle that he’s been accustomed to; not to be a prince, not to be a pauper, but just to have a good, happy life.” Mr Bowman said.