Tenant Stories /

Edwina’s story: “… It’s awesome because I’ve got the other room set up as bunk beds for the boys. They visit me over the weekend and even during the week as they can easily catch the train to where I live.”


For Edwina, moving into a SDA apartment meant much more than just gaining her independence and privacy back. It’s enabled her to spend more meaningful time with her children and maintain her most important role of a mother whilst receiving the support she requires, to ensure her relationship with her children is optimised.

Before moving into her SDA apartment, Edwina stayed in hospital for 9 months and from there was discharged to enter Medium Term Accommodation (MTA) for the next 4 months, which “wasn’t very good as it was very small.” Edwina was determined to move out and live her own life again with her children but struggled to find accommodation options suitable to her needs.  Then she found Summer Housing through the help of her mum. Edwina applied for Martin & Powlett as the location was ideal and because she was familiar with the area. Her family also lived close by which meant they could visit her often, which was important to Edwina.

Life now for Edwina in her SDA apartment has been a game changer. “I just feel better. I do suffer from depression quite a bit…but that’s kind of gone now. Everything is so accessible…the proximity to the train station is fabulous.” One of Edwina’s aspirations was to pick up her Art classes. “I’ve always wanted to do Art classes” and moving into this apartment has helped Edwina achieve that. “One of the other tenants attends the art classes as well so we share a taxi and go in together” and make a social outing out of it.

More importantly, living in her new apartment has facilitated Edwina’s family reconnection by allowing her to spend more time with her children and continue her parenting role, which in turn has benefited Edwina’s emotional health and improved her overall quality of life. “It’s awesome because I’ve got the other room set up as bunk beds for the boys. They visit me over the weekend and even during the week as they can easily catch the train to where I live. Often the older one cooks dinner for us…so that’s been good too…and I love the fact that I can have my cat here because I really missed him.”

Edwina has also achieved one of her long-term goals which was to go on a holiday with her boys. “That’s happening as we’re going to Phillip Island over the school holidays…this is the first one since I had my stroke…so it’ll be very special.”

Edwina is now living the life the way she wants to, independently in her own space. “It (her new home) was so much better than what I thought it would be. It’s been amazing” equally for both herself and her family.

Tenant Stories /

Samar’s story: “… I’m always out and about…it’s really improved my quality of life…it’s changed my whole life.”


Prior to moving into her SDA apartment, Samar was living in a housing commission block, which was an extremely stressful environment for someone with disability. Samar endured 8 long years living there – everyday feeling scared and unsafe to go outside her unit. Samar then took steps to leave her inappropriate housing situation and move into Medium Term Accommodation (MTA) for the following 2 years. Then everything changed when she moved into her new SDA apartment in June 2021. 

The journey towards getting her SDA funding, was anything but a straightforward process. Samar’s initial determination was for shared accommodation which was not the outcome Samar wanted. It eventually took another 6 months to finally receive approved funding for High Physical Support (HPS).

However shortly after receiving her HPS determination, Samar faced another roadblock. After been asked to attend a review meeting with the NDIS, they advised her housing outcome had now been changed back to shared accommodation. “You just don’t know what the NDIS is going to do… I didn’t get any notification…I literally went into a review meeting and they told me your housing has been changed to shared accommodation. My understanding is that you can’t take away that determination unless something drastic happens…and nothing drastic happened to me, therefore I questioned as to why they change my determination? It was horrific…really stressful…I couldn’t focus on anything because I was worried I would be put back in shared accommodation. However with the support of Summer Housing, we just kept on fighting.” 

“During this ordeal, Summer Housing was my absolute rock. They would check in on me every day to make sure I was going okay. They supported me through the process of engaging lawyers to fight for my case – they just went over and above their jobs to ensure we had the right tools to fight this. It was a long process, but we got there in the end, and I’m so appreciative of Summer Housing for being there every step of the way, and providing that supportive framework I so desperately needed at the time.”

Life for Samar now “has been wonderful.” She feels safe and secure in her SDA apartment which has allowed her the freedoms she never had when living in a commission flat. Moving into her apartment has allowed her to rebuild her life and find herself again. “I’m always out and about…it’s really improved my quality of life…it’s changed my whole life. I work full time now and I’m happy to be working in the workplace again. It’s been really good.”

“I now just want to enjoy life and live life to the fullest.” Confronted with a recent health scare, has changed Samar’s outlook in life. “You never know when your time is up, so you need to make the most of what you have now and in life. I just try to do what I can. After all that I have been through over the years, my new motto is ‘Dream big – live bigger’ and I believe everyone should adopt this mentality in their daily lives.”

Tenant Stories /

Lisa’s story: “… I can set the same goals just like everyone else… ”


Lisa grew up in the Victorian bayside suburb of Frankston with her three children. Following an incident in 2012, Lisa acquired a severe brain injury. This resulted in her having quadriplegia and bulbar dysfunction and now requires a high level of assistance for all activities of daily living.  

After 7 long years of finding myself trapped in a nursing home, I had one goal in life…and that was to get out of Aged Care. When I moved in, I didn’t know what was happening to me and no one bothered to tell me…I wanted to leave and every day I felt like killing myself. I wanted to be treated like a human being. I wanted an ordinary life. Determined and motivated, I accomplished what many others in my situation desire to have for themselves.

I chose my Summer Housing apartment because of its’ close proximity to where I lived prior to my brain injury, so it felt like home. I was over the moon about moving into my apartment. After years of enduring life in Aged Care which I would describe as ‘living in hell’, I finally experienced a sense of freedom when I moved in. What I love most about where I live is the community and how nice and friendly the people are in this area. It’s one of life’s pleasures to be able to meet new people, connect and make friends. Now I have that opportunity and I can look forward to inviting them over to my place and regain my social life. In the nursing home, I didn’t have any friends, but what’s worse is there was no opportunity to make any friends. In Aged Care, I didn’t know what was happening to me and no one bothered to tell me. Living in my apartment, I now have the control to make my own plans when I want to, and where I want to.

I worry about other people in the same situation. So many people feel the way I do. I don’t just want to improve my own situation – I want to help other people. I’m a person with the same rights as everyone else to live the life I want. Those rights have been taken away from me and I want them back. I want to share with others going through what I went through, that there is an option to live independently and gain back your freedom. I want to tell them they can do it!

As previously mentioned, my one goal originally was to get out of Aged Care. Now I have achieved that goal, I’m not just able to set new goals in my life, but I can set the same goals just like everyone else…like making new friends, going out dancing, listening to Rock and Roll…oh and best of all, getting out there to barrack for my No. 1 footy team – the Carlton Blues!

Lisa, Aged 45, VIC tenant