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Southern stay starts new $1.6m specialist disability house in Hamilton

Work has started on new $1.6 million specialist disability accommodation in Hamilton while a similar project in Warrnambool celebrates a year of providing life-changing experiences.

Southern Stay Disability Services is developing the new specialist disability accommodation in central Hamilton to provide housing for four adults with disabilities.

The house at 13 Scoresby Street will be used by people with high complex support needs and is expected to be ready for use by April 2022.

Southern Stay Disability Services has made the initial investment in the house which will be supported by residents’ NDIS Specialist Disability Accommodation payments.

Hooke Architecture has been engaged to design the house and undertake the project management. Colbrico Builders have been engaged to build the new home.

Southern Stay CEO Paul Lougheed said there was strong need for new accommodation. “It’s an exciting project with the residence being built to the highest levels of access available, including features such as ceiling hoists and accessible bathrooms,” Mr Lougheed said. “All residents will have access to their own bathrooms and patios.”

This will be the first specialist disability accommodation home built in Hamilton for several years. There are currently 23 group homes for people with disabilities, supporting 106 residents in shared supported accommodation in south-west Victoria.

Mr Lougheed said all current houses for people with high support needs are filled, with very low likelihood of vacancies becoming available. The rollout of the NDIS in the region had highlighted the urgent need for a supply of accessible housing options, particularly for adults with complex care needs.

“Southern Stay is committed to ensuring that any accommodation is of a high standard, part of the community, safe, secure, supportive, accessible and a ‘home’,” Mr Lougheed said.

The project will be a big economic boost to the Hamilton community with more than 15 staff to be employed to provide 24-7 care.

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In Warrnambool, a similar accommodation complex at 66 Ryot Street recently celebrated its first anniversary and continues to offer life-changing independence to eight residents.

One of the residents, Rhiannon Newman, said when she moved in, it immediately felt like home.

“I didn’t want to go home, because it felt like my home,” she said. “I like where it is and I feel way more independent.”

Ms Newman said living in the accommodation gave her more opportunities to make her own decisions while she was not locked into anything with her funding.

“I love it here,” she said.

The complex is home to eight residents over three houses on the site.

Southern Stay Disability Services is the largest provider of Supported Independent Living in south west Victoria with 17 supported accommodation houses around the region.

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