PEOPLE with a disability will enjoy new opportunities for independence thanks to two state-of-the-art houses being opened by Endeavour Foundation and the Queensland Government in Gladstone today.
Department of Communities, Child Safety and Disability Services Regional Executive Director Mick Shearer (representing Minister for Communities, Child Safety and Disability Services Tracy Davis MP) joined Endeavour Foundation CEO David Barbagallo in declaring the much-anticipated three-bedroom homes open, creating five new supported accommodation places for people with a disability in Central Queensland.
Mr Barbagallo said the houses were purpose-built to provide 24-hour support by a rostered support worker on site.
"The small number of tenants in each house provides greater opportunities for independent living skill development and personal lifestyle choices, within a supportive environment," Mr Barbagallo said.
"Assistive technologies will provide residents with maximum independence and a safe living environment," he said.
Mr Shearer said that in a very tight local housing market, the new houses were a welcome addition to the supported accommodation currently available in Gladstone.
"But these are more than just houses. The new residents are making these houses their homes, and will have ongoing support to continue making choices and determining their own bright future," Mr Shearer said.
"I know local parents and carers will also welcome the opportunity to see the residents settled in a supportive environment that will foster independence and choice," he said.
The $570,000 houses were built by Endeavour Foundation, with $511,000 contributed by the joint state and commonwealth Disability Assistance Package (DAP).
Endeavour Foundation CEO David Barbagallo said assistive technologies in the houses were 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.
"Extras such as a patio attached to each bedroom, ensures individuals have access to their own private space. This kind of simple inclusion provides an appropriate living arrangement for adult occupants with a disability," Mr Barbagallo said.
"Endeavour Foundation welcomes the creation of new supported accommodation places for people with a disability, and especially for people with ageing parent carers," he said.
Endeavour Foundation will provide ongoing support for tenants of the new homes, with support funding provided by the Queensland Government.
Established in 1951, Endeavour Foundation provides accommodation, education, training, vocational, employment and lifestyle opportunities for more than 3,350 people with a disability at 230 locations, in Queensland and New South Wales.