AHA’s East Palm Beach project officially launches

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Perry Cross
Founding Director and CEO

At its core, Specialist Disability Accommodation (SDA) is designed to give people housing options that best suits their circumstances, allowing them to choose the type of home, the location and who they want to live with. The ultimate goal is to ensure that people with high-care needs no longer need to live in inappropriate settings, such as aged-care facilities, and that those who rely on the family home have the option to live independently. For me, accessing this funding has given me freedom and independence I haven't known since before my accident.

Accessible Homes Australia is celebrating the official launch of our East Palm Beach Specialist Disability Accommodation project on the Gold Coast, alongside our preferred disability services partner MS Queensland.

Located on 23rd Avenue in Palm Beach, AHA’s East Palm Beach project will provide seven SDA apartments for occupation from July 2021, offering independent living to NDIS participants requiring a high level of physical support.

Our partners MS Queensland will be providing supported independent living (SIL) and 24-hour support to the participants living at East Palm Beach, helping them toward independence, to build resilience and live their best possible life.

MS Queensland chairman Roger Burrell says there aren’t many choices for young people who are living with high support needs to live independently, unless they’re in an institution or an aged care home.

“Currently there are approximately 1,340 people under the age of 65 that are living in residential aged care,” says Mr Burrell.

“We are so very proud of this project because there is currently a shortfall of around 327 Specialist Disability Accommodation projects on the Gold Coast alone.

“We share Accessible Homes Australia’s vision of providing high quality independent living apartments for those who are living with MS, other neurological conditions and high support needs.”

Accessible Homes Australia Founding Director and CEO, Perry Cross AM, knows firsthand of how NDIS and the SDA scheme can change the way people live.

As a C2 ventilated quadriplegic, Perry had relied on living with family until he moved into his own Specialist Disability Accommodation apartment six months ago.

“Anyone can understand what it’s like to move out of the family home for the first time. It’s a feeling of independence. I guess I never knew what that felt like,” says Perry.

“Traditionally people in my situation either live in some sort of institutional setting or their housing is provided by family, and the NDIS has now changed the way people can live.

“This East Palm Beach project is actually going to make life-altering changes for people. They can live by the beach, they can live within a stone’s throw of shops and community facilities, like Tallebudgera Creek and sport and recreation facilities. It’s incredible.”

Perry says he’s looking forward to working on many more projects like East Palm Beach throughout Queensland.

“I’ve got a smile on my face because I’m imagining the day that people move in here, and the view they’ll have from their rooms out over the ocean. It’s unbelievable.”

The Hon Stuart Robert MP, Minister for the National Disability Insurance Scheme, visited the East Palm Beach site for the official sod-turning, and says the project is ‘everything we could want in Specialist Disability Accommodation’.

“We don’t just want to build houses. We actually want to build the capacity for people with disability to live within the community – and that’s what this is,” says Mr Robert.

“This isn’t a block of units for people with disability, this is a block of units on the beach, on the fabulous Gold Coast, of which there are seven two-bedroom units for people with disability to live within the community – just like any other person in our society would.

“It’s not just for SDA, and that’s what makes it magic.”

Mr Roberts says he expects the current expressions of interest period for those wanting to apply for an apartment within the project to be ‘flooded’.

“You’ve got an opportunity to live right on the beach, in I think the best city in the world -the Gold Coast,” he says.

“This is a project that will set a gold standard, within the platinum standard of high physical support, because it’s within the community.

“It’s in a great location, and I’m so looking forward to coming back and cutting the ribbon when it opens.”

Get more information and express your interest in our East Palm Beach project here.

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