People living with disabilities are being given the chance to move into their own dream home with the traditional ‘group housing’ model undergoing a ground-breaking transformation that showcases independent villas, ergonomic design and beautiful interiors.
Registered Specialist Disability Accommodation (SDA) provider Good Housing has just unveiled its third project called ‘Lilly Pilly’ on Sydney’s Northern Beaches, providing a unique, purpose-built set-up for those with extreme physical disability and high support needs, while fostering independence and security for tenants and their families. The Dee Why project includes five contemporary one-bedroom villas with a shared common area.
Each villa includes open plan living, spacious kitchens, bedroom, ensuite bathroom, a private outdoor area and internals carefully designed by interior designers. It is fully wheelchair accessible with wide corridors and no steps. Importantly, Lilly Pilly also has a communal indoor and outdoor space designed to enhance social cohesion.
And while it offers a sense of independence, residents will have on-going 24-hours support with an on-site carer. All tenants will receive tailored support from Lilly Pilly’s designated Supported Independent Living (SIL) provider.
Sam Graiche, Co-founder and Chief Innovator for Good Housing said the organisation was born out of a lack of tailored disability housing solutions. His motivation was his three nephews living with special needs and the flow on effect that constant care was having on their families and the quality of their home environment.
“We could see the impact on quality of life for my sister and the strain that it put on her relationship with other members of the family while caring for her son, so we thought that this was critically required and we set out on a mission to produce something better than what we could find in the market,” he said.
Good Housing is now looking to build around 300 homes across Australia over the next five years, offering families relief by providing NDIS registered disability accommodation that radically improves the physical, mental, and emotional wellbeing of residents.
The team purchased the Dee Why site back in 2020 after the NDIS indicated the greatest level of need and demand to be on the Northern Beaches. Around 30 applications were received for just five villas.
MacKellar MP Jason Falinski, who is currently chairing a federal inquiry into housing affordability, is a supporter of the new style of accommodation being offered to people with disabilities.
“The Australian Dream is predicated on home ownership because it is fundamental to our wellbeing, our freedom and our certainty. Innovative developments like Lilly Pilly are providing an opportunity for more people to live that dream. It has an unmeasurable impact on improving one’s quality of life.
We need more diversity in our housing mix like what is being provided here by Lilly Pilly on Sydney’s Northern Beaches so more people are supported in a community where that brings out the best in themselves,” said Mr Falinski.
Architecturally designed by Bennett Murada and with interiors by Studio Tresa, the single level properties aim to be both aesthetically pleasing and highly functional. Featuring sustained elements using recycled timber and timber plywood ceilings. Each is building is powered by smart technology, using both voice and touch activation.
Mr Graiche described Lilly Pilly as the ‘peak’ of innovation. It has been designed to ensure residents have their own private sanctuaries; while also being able to engage with one another.
Importantly, the carers room is tucked out of sight to promote a sense of independence among tenants.
As part of Good Housing’s Project Good Feeling, residents have also been given an option of securing ergonomic furniture and appliances, chosen by an interior designer, allowing them to make a ‘fresh start’ in their new accommodation.
“We feel it is important because it enhances the tenant experience and produces that good feeling that we are after,” Mr Graiche said.
Good Housing is delivering the homes with backing from the Synergis Fund, a scalable investment fund focused on transforming disability housing in Australia.
Michael Lynch, Managing Director of Social Infrastructure Investment Partners, the manager of the Synergis Fund, said “this is the third project that we have completed with the Good Housing team and we are exciting to be partnering with an organisation that shares our vision of delivering high quality homes for people with disability and shared values of maximising outcomes for NDIS participants and their families and carers.”
Good Housing opened its first specialised disability housing project called ‘Oak Tree’ at Mt Colah in October 2020. It was followed by another development called ‘Apple Tree’ also in the same suburb. Another 12 projects are planned for this year in Hornsby, Bradbury, Macquarie Fields, Toongabbie, and Jannali.
The villas are available to adults aged 18 to 64 years living with a disability. Tenants will pay a reasonable rent contribution, coupled with their NDIS administered SDA subsidy. Among those moving into Lilly Pilly is Will, a Northern Beaches local.
Samantha*, Will’s wife, said they were looking for a facility that met his high physical needs and was close by, but didn’t feel like a hospital room. Samantha was impressed by the design and styling of Good Housing’s Lilly Pilly.
“It is very different to what disability housing usually looks like,” she said. “Lilly Pilly is ideal for Will. He has his independence, while also having onsite support that is unobtrusive but there when he needs it. Being on a single level makes life a lot easier and having a private courtyard means he can spend some time outdoors with his friends.
“It’s a flat path to a nearby café and I can see us spending time there having breakfast on Sunday mornings,” said Samantha.
*for privacy, Samantha and Will would prefer to remain unidentified.
Founded by Sam Graiche and Antony Anisse in 2019, Good Housing was born out of a family need for specialist disability housing. Being vertically integrated as developer, builder and an operator means we can produce beautifully designed and functional homes that respond to the needs and choices of their tenants. Our first project, ‘Oak Tree’ in Mt Colah, was launched in October 2020 and 12 more projects will be delivered this year across Australia.
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