IT'S not just a house. It's a home.
That's the idea behind two new "smart houses", which aim to offer more independence for people living with a disability.
Two three-bedroom houses were officially opened in Gladstone yesterday by the Endeavour Foundation and the State Government.
Five people with a disability will find a home in the new houses, which provide 24-hour support by a rostered worker on site.
Endeavour Foundation chief executive David Barbagallo said assistive technologies would give maximum independence in a safe and supportive environment.
He said the houses were a welcome addition and had significant meaning in Gladstone's tough housing market.
"The need for disability housing is everywhere," Mr Barbagallo said.
"But it's acute in Gladstone, an area with enormous housing pressures."
Mr Barbagallo said issues surrounding disability had come a long way but the system was still broken.
"It's about the fundamental issue of the right and entitlement to education, health and adequate housing," he said.
"The opportunities we take for granted everyday. As a community we tend to exclude people with disabilities.
"We need to change our mind and approach."
Directly opposite each other, the two new three-bedroom houses will provide homes for five people living with a disability.
The $570,000 houses were built by the Endeavour Foundation, with $511,000 contributed by the joint State and Commonwealth Disability Assistance Package.
Assistive technologies in the houses are designed to suit the varying needs of the individuals living there, with optional environmental sensors to detect smoke and fire, entry and exit sensors, help alarms and panic buttons.
They bring the total to nine houses for disabled people in Gladstone.
The Endeavour Foundation
Founded in 1951, the Endeavour Foundation is one of the largest non-government disability service providers in Australia.
It supports more than 3350 people with a disability, from 230 locations in Queensland and New South Wales.
It provides opportunities for people with a disability so they may take part in everyday life of the community.