Page 297 - Week 01 - Thursday, 29 November 2012

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children—will replace the Hughes and Kese properties. These projects are in addition to the more than $7 million that the ACT government has committed to the intentional community in Phillip. The intentional community will support people with a disability to live independently in the community. This housing initiative will develop a supportive community through a 25-unit public housing development. Initially there will be three young adults with a disability moving in there.

The remainder of the homes are being offered to public housing tenants. Tenants are being chosen, through an expression of interest process, because they are committed to the creation of a supportive and inclusive community for people with a disability. Along with the informal support provided by these tenants, the three young people involved will also receive formal support through funded disability support packages.

These models, particularly Project Independence, will make a big difference to the lives of people living with a disability here in the ACT.

MADAM SPEAKER: A supplementary question, Ms Berry.

MS BERRY: Minister, how do these models of accommodation differ from existing types of disability accommodation currently available in the ACT?

MS BURCH: Project Independence is indeed unique. It will provide long-term certainty in a loan-licence tenure similar to affordable housing in retirement homes when individuals buy equity in their home. People will be able to purchase a licence to where they live and, if they choose, sell that licence at a later stage for some return.

The licence will provide a right to occupy a room as well as provide access to common areas and grounds. A predetermined purchase price for the licence can be paid outright or funded in part by a loan. It is expected the licence fee and loan repayment will be calculated as a portion of the resident’s income, such as a disability pension.

Project Independence differs from other models as it will involve social business models, that is, both commercial and self-funding, and the aim is to generate revenue to develop more social housing for people with a disability. Project Independence aims to generate sufficient revenue from each development to allow further housing developments to be built in the future.

Earlier this year, Carers ACT held a forum, “what carers want”, and this forum identified supported accommodation was a priority. Project Independence goes to that priority. In response to what carers want, I note that the Canberra Liberals, through you, Mrs Dunne, would be releasing their community services policy. But they have not, and the Canberra Liberals have no policy to enhance supported accommodation, unlike the Labor government who has now committed absolutely to unique projects such as Project Independence and the intentional community at Phillip.

MADAM SPEAKER: A supplementary question, Ms Porter.

MS PORTER: Minister, what other new measures will the government be putting in place to assist people with disability in the ACT?

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