April 10, 2014

Whittlesea project first tenants move in March 2014


whittlesea-02In March our first tenants moved in and are becoming part of the Whittlesea community.

This development consists of four units providing homes for five young people with disabilities plus a staff unit /office for 24 hour per day staffing on the site. This individualised housing and support model is in line with NDIS aspirations for young people to have every opportunity to leave their family homes to and be supported to have an independent adult life in the community.

The Commonwealth SAIF program has provided the capital funds. Life Without Barriers is Active’s partner providing 24 hour staffing and support services funded by DHS.

We are planning a grand opening party for everyone involved in the project in late May.

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Project Update – Work Commences!


Work has commenced on our Whittlesea site! The first sod was turned in May 2013 and we are anticipating the units will be completed and ready for occupation by Dec 2013. This exciting construction project will allow 5 young adults with a disability to live more independently. Located in the Whittlesea township it will provide supported accommodation in four units, as well as a unit for staff. We’re hopeful that five young people with cognitive disabilities and complex support needs will have a brand new home for Christmas.

The five residents will be housed in three 1-bedroom untis and one 2 bedroom unit. The fifth unit will be for overnight staff accommodation, meals, retreat and office. All units will be under the one roof, with secure front entry and access to semi-private outdoor courtyard areas and a communal BBQ area.Whittlesea

The Federal Government has provided $1 million for the units and the State Government more than $3million for service delivery. This innovative project is being built and managed by Active Community Housing, while Life Without Barriers will provide staff to support the residents. McEwen federal Labour MP Rob Mitchell, who recently visited the MacMeikan St. site, said it would help people with a disability to live as independently as possible.

Whittlesea Project Overview

The Whittlesea New Beginnings Project is an exciting new Active Housing development. The project is designed to accommodate and support five young people with cognitive disabilities in a dwelling with appearance and appeal of a regular small scale suburban development.

Life Without Barriers (LWB) is a national community support organisation, who has an established partnership with Active. Life Without Barriers is funded under the Disability Act to deliver onsite care seven days a week including overnight active or sleepover staff.

The accommodation will be constructed and managed by Active Community Housing Ltd and is scheduled to be available from December 2013. The five residents will be housed in 3 by 1 bedroom units and 1 by 2 bedroom units. The fifth unit will be for overnight staff accommodation, meals, retreat and office. All units will be contained under one roof line with secure front entry to the site. This supported accommodation project is provided for young people 18 – 25 years who have cognitive disabilities with complex support needs. There are three car park spaces on site to accommodate staff, house transport and visitors. All clients/tenants will be nominated by the Department of Human Services. All units have access to semi private outdoor court yard areas and communal BBQ area.

The aim would be for them to eventually transition to independent living. Active Community Housing chief executive Chris Glennen said the service had consulted residents about the project. Disability advocate Trevor Carroll welcomed the units, saying there was high demand in the area for supported accommodation. He said, however, it needed to be affordable, in direct reference to the State Government revealing last month it was increasing fees for state-run disability accommodation.

The accommodation will be designed and constructed to meet the requirements for platinum standard liveable housing guideline and shared supported accommodation standard (Victorian DHS) including associated fire risk management and sprinkler systems.

See Media interview in the ‘Whittlesea Review’

The Whittlesea Project Provides:

  • 24 hours a day, seven days per week rostered onsite staffing for clients with disabilities in a housing form which maximises integration and independence
  • Long term high quality affordable accommodation for 5 people with disabilities
  • Clients will have internal and external semi private space to maintain and enhance family and community support by giving clients their own private space to have visits and interaction with family and friends
  • Accommodation to be permanent or over time prepare residents to move into more independent non staffed community settings

Architect and Project Management: Hooke Architecture, 5/8 Bromham Place, Richmond