New housing gives residents dignity and choice

Alyssa Bevan with potential resident Cindy Fitzsimons and Lisa Dalgleish. Photo: Melinda Jane.
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A national not-for-profit organisation is changing the way that young people with high physical support needs live with a state first project in Penrith.

Youngcare is two months off completing construction on its two three-bedroom Specialist Disability Accommodation (SDA) homes in Jordan Springs.

To prepare for the milestone, prospective residents visited last week to take part in the ‘My New Room’ initiative where they got to test paint options and choose a feature wall colour for their bedrooms, with assistance from family and support members.

Youngcare CEO Greg Johnson said the organisation’s mission is to provide people with more choice and control over their living situation by including them in the design stage of their SDA home.

“Youngcare is focused on creating change for these young people and their families, and one way we do that is by delivering beautiful SDA homes that exceed the minimum requirements for accessible housing by elevating design and technology aspects while making them age-appropriate by maximising location and lifestyle,” Johnson said.

“These aspirational SDA homes are Youngcare’s first foray into New South Wales, but certainly not our last, and we look forward to expanding our portfolio across Australia in the coming years.”

Built by Hudson Homes, six potential housemates will enjoy life in their two new homes for as long as they like with assistance through their NDIS plans.

Head of Housing and Development at Youngcare Tim Lambert told the Weekender that it is a great feeling helping others live more independent lives.

“We have three residents here today that have been living together for 19 years and we have been working with them for close to 12 months to help assist them moving into one of the homes which is amazing,” Lambert said.

“It is a big decision for someone to choose a home and we are glad that we can engage with them early and move people from sometimes inappropriate accommodation to lovely homes where they have their own space to have visitors.”

Londonderry MP Prue Car praised the project and acknowledged the need for more support as Youngcare does not receive recurring funding from the government.

“This will be state-of-the-art homes for people who have really high needs disabilities and something that will set it apart is that they have their own space with private courtyard and bathrooms, so these young people can really feel at home in them,” Car said.

“I think there is definitely a need for governments, both State and Federal to think creatively to provide opportunities for organisations like Youngcare and look at ways that we can actually free up land for places like this.”

Federal Member for Lindsay Melissa McIntosh said she is pleased that the facilities will soon be available for locals.

“It was wonderful to see these homes come to life today and hear about the people who will be shortly moving in. Jordan Springs is such a beautiful community, I’m sure everyone will be very welcoming,” McIntosh said.

“I thank Youngcare for bridging a gap in care by providing a much-needed service to our local community.”

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