EXCLUSIVE: How NDIS is luring property investors to Coast
APPROPRIATE housing for people with disability in the Fraser Coast, as in the rest of the country, is in high demand but short supply.
However, not only is the region set for an economic boost, but it will also have more specialist disability accommodation with the National Disability Insurance Scheme funding encouraging property investors and institutions to build more disabled-centric homes.
The first anniversary of the NDIS in the region was celebrated last month. More than 1800 residents in the Fraser Coast, North Burnett, South Burnett and Cherbourg regions now have access to the revamped funding system.
As of January this year, funding for specialist housing solution accommodation that are not available in the traditional rental market was rolled out across the state.
Fraser Coast Endeavour Foundation manager of service delivery Mandy Smith said more than 28,000 people are expected to require specialist disability housing - at least six per cent of NDIS participants.
"Of those, 16,000 are already in existing disability accommodation, 6200 are living in aged care and 5800 of those have 'unmet need'," she said.
Brisbane-based company Property Direct already haS three SDA 'smarthomes' under contract in Maryborough and is expecting to build an SDA 'smarthome Platinum 3' home catering to those who need a high level of physical support in Hervey Bay.
Managing director of Dave Beard said the Maryborough homes, some on previously sub-divided council land, were expected to be completed by March next year.
"We expect to build three (high-physical support homes) in Hervey Bay over the next 12 months depending on need," he said.
"We will be using all local contractors and tradespeople and, depending on the reception and investors, we may look at building more."
After the company showcased their home designs with assistive technologies in the Sunshine Coast to care providers and people living with a disability, MrBeard said he was approached by carers from Hervey Bay about the lack of SDA homes in their area.
The Maryborough SDA smarthomes (pictured) are about 300sqm on a 750sqm block, have 18sqm bedrooms, 9sqm ensuites and wide 1.8m hallways.
They also have a separate room for carers with its own entrance, kitchen and ensuite.
"Our assistive technology means you can control the air-conditioning, see who's at the front door, turn off the lights all from your phone or tablet," MrBeard said.
"It doesn't cost any extra for people to get into homes, the normal rental allocation is paid through their pension and the NDIS pays an allocation depending on a person's disability which the investor will pick up a percentage of."
Mr Beard said he was taken on a tour of inappropriate housing in Maryborough.
"Some had waited seven years for a passable home and had then stayed there 20 years because of how rare it is," he said.
"If you have a family member or friend in need of more appropriate high physical supported housing, have their NDIS service provider make contact. We may be able to help," he said.