YoungCare gifted with state-owned land for disabled people
THE gift of government land to build disability-supported accommodation could be the solution for young people with disabilities stuck in regional aged care, a not-for-profit organisation believes.
YoungCare, a charity providing housing for people under 65 with disabilities, will begin planning its next round of accommodation facilities after the Queensland Government gifted it with state-owned land in Brisbane's north.
Premier Campbell Newman announced on Tuesday the government was also calling for expressions of interests from other charity and not-for-profit groups to develop surplus state-owned land.
YoungCare will use the land at Wooloowin to build housing for young Queenslanders, many of whom currently live with people three-times their age in aged care facilities.
It's estimated there are 1400 Queenslanders under 65 with disabilities in aged care facilities as there is nowhere else for them to get the care they need.
A shared home for four people aged between 18-25 is expected to be the first development off the rank on the 2429sqm land site.
YoungCare general manager Anna Cox hopes the land use will be replicated in other regions.
"It's really important to push that issue out into regional locations as a solution to young people in aged care," she said.
Ms Cox said the shared home model was particularly useful for smaller communities rather than larger apartment-style accomodation often used for disability support accomodation.
"In smaller communties it's very hard to prove the viability of that so if you have a smaller model it's much easier to prove that viability," she said.
Often young people from regional areas who need 24/7 care are moved to aged care facilities a long way from home - and friends and family.
"If you are in a regional or rural location and because of the system and inadequacies, if you have already been moved 150km from your home, the chances people can make that trip to see you regularly are slim," she said.
Ms Cox said the government's land gift - the single biggest donation YoungCare has received - could also be replicated to meet demands for supported accomodation once DisabilityCare is rolled out in full in 2019.
Mr Newman said the Queensland Government would work with other charities and not-for-profit organisations to match land sites compatible with mission statements, and in line with local need.
"Rather than 'land bank' for the sake of it, we hope to generate interest in the surplus land so not-for-profit organisations can unlock its potential to deliver better services for Queenslanders," he said.
"This is the first stage in a program that will ultimately see many developments across the state to deliver vital community support."