CHL forms a landmark partnership in Victoria and opens world-class shared supported disability accommodation

National not-for-profit housing provider Community Housing Ltd (CHL) has been very busy in recent months with two exciting announcements.

New world-class shared supported disability accommodations were officially opened in May in Frankston, Victoria, and Maryborough, Queensland – both designed and built, and to be managed by, CHL.

In Frankston, the innovative, high quality development consists of a six-bedroom home inclusive of two semi-independent units under the one roofline. The architecturally designed home will support six people between the ages of 17 and 27 with complex support needs.

Funding of $1.391 million was provided under the Victorian Government’s Innovative Accommodation and Support Initiative (IASI) to CHL, with Karingal Inc. securing further ongoing support funding for those living in this home. The project is the direct result of partnership between CHL, Frankston Peninsula Carers Inc. (FPC Inc), Department of Health and Human Services (DHHS), Karingal Inc., and Frankston City Council (FCC) who provided the land on a long-term lease.

In Queensland, the completely refurbished shared supported disability accommodation – popularly known as ‘Wiles House’ – is designed to the Australian Standard for Accessibility and Platinum criteria for disabled access, which makes it fully SDA-compliant under the National Disability Insurance Scheme (NDIS) due to be rolled out in the next two years.

The newly redeveloped facility now includes three affordable and accessible independent disability units for those with high and complex support needs living in long-stay healthcare or aged care facilities. Designed to support people with a disability under the age of 65 years, the facility also includes a guest bedroom attached to each unit for overnight accommodation, and provides around the clock access to support.

Funded under the Queensland Government’s Accommodation for People in Residential Aged Care Project, the redevelopment has received a contribution of $526,519 by the Queensland Department of Communities, Child Safety and Disability Services as a result of a collaborative partnership between CHL, Queensland Government and the Community Lifestyles Agency. An additional amount of $58,000 has been contributed by CHL towards works to include special assistive technology in the house design for high support needs.

Steve Bevington, Managing Director of CHL Group, says, “We are motivated by the critical lack of suitable housing for people with high complex needs, and are committed to do more as there are a large number of people with a disability wanting suitable accommodation.”

“The organisation has been providing innovative housing options for those with a disability for over 23 years,” he continues. “We have over 1,800 people living with a disability in our housing across Australia.

In further CHL news, 150 new affordable homes are to be made available for renting in Melbourne’s northeast by 2020, thanks to an innovative public private partnership with Alpha Partners as part of one of the first large-scale inclusionary rezoning projects in Victoria.

Known as The Village Alphington, the proposed neighbourhood centre – including retail and community hub – will be developed by Alpha Partners on the former Amcor paper mill site in the scenic suburb of Alphington located approximately 6.5 kilometres from the Melbourne CBD. Development plan approval has been obtained for the site, which will have 2,500 new dwellings with a mix of apartments, townhouses and single family homes.

Steve Bevington says, “This demonstrates a successful public-private partnership between a private developer and a not-for-profit housing provider in delivering much-needed affordable rental housing in Victoria. Community Housing Ltd has been chosen as trusted partner in this project owing to our experience, capability and capacity to deliver large-scale affordable housing projects.”

As part of the partnership, CHL will lease one and two bedroom apartments from the developers at a fixed rent for 10 years that will be subleased to eligible tenants at below 75 percent market rent. CHL will retain the titles to 10 apartments as part of the agreement.

“The primary target tenant group will be essential service workers on moderate incomes who provide key services in the community – such as nurses, hospitality workers, teachers and childcare specialists – so they can have easy access to their jobs, public transport and other amenities,” Steve explains. “This means essential services remain in the community while ensuring less travel time and a better quality of life for the tenants.”

Guy Nelson, Managing Director of Alpha Partners, states, “Alpha’s vision for the site has always been about creating community. We are very excited that, through our partnership with CHL, we will be able to deliver affordable housing within The Village Alphington, enhancing and building on our vision for a true neighbourhood and community hub.”