Our housing model is a contemporary one that brings accessible and affordable housing and support together with smart home technology to give individuals greater choice and control over how they live. The right housing and support in the right location can increase a person’s quality of life and independence, while reducing lifetime care costs.
While our housing projects focus on younger people in nursing homes, this model of housing and support is relevant to a much wider range of people with disability across Australia. Summer Housing has a vision of increasing the scale of housing by commissioning 300 new apartments designed for people with disability in major cities across Australia. This figure represents only 5% of younger people in nursing homes across Australia that are in need of specialist housing in order to return to community living. Our aim is also to support the sector to build housing for the other 95% of younger people in residential aged care.
Over the next five years Summer Housing will:
- Identify sites for development
- Partner with government, private developers and community housing providers and other stakeholders to replicate our housing projects
- Use our design and technology expertise to create high quality housing that enables independent living
- Share design and technology innovations with partners and other organisations
- Provide resources for other housing providers to encourage the development of more housing options
Smart home technology is a key feature of these housing projects. This technology enables tenants with severe physical disabilities to use their smart phone or tablet to open doors, open and close blinds, control the temperature and light switches. Communications technology enables tenants to contact staff when they need help, or in the event of an emergency. Tenants are able to maximise their independence and privacy while still having access to 24 hour support.
Our apartments are peppered throughout larger mainstream residential developments. An additional apartment onsite accommodates disability support workers.
The tenancies and properties are managed by a community housing organisation so that people with disability have the same tenancy rights as the rest of the population. A disability service organisation is appointed to provide tenants with the support they need for an initial two year period.
Evaluation of our housing projects is critical to the iterative process of learning and the continuous improvement of the design and efficacy of this model of housing and support. We learn by doing, then document and share the knowledge generated by the housing projects. We have an open source approach to the intellectual property generated through these projects and actively encourage others to replicate our work.
Summer Housing will be involved with each housing project for at least the first five years of its existence to evaluate and document the project, and disseminate the knowledge generated while continuing to refine our housing model for future housing projects.