Summer Housing projects have a strong focus on supporting tenants to be as independent and included as possible, encouraging tenants to have as much control over their home as possible and providing a home environment that supports maintenance of family roles and contact with friends and family.
These aspects are key drivers for Summer Housing’s approach to design, and are supported by the following objectives:
In order to achieve the objective of mainstream design objective, apartments have ordinary features and use mainstream products and equipment, rather than disability specific design, wherever possible.
The long-term potential to on sell dwellings on the open market, or to rent on a short or long-term basis in the event of unforeseen circumstances, is a consideration in the selection and design of dwellings.
Housing for people with significant disabilities has to cater for people with physical disabilities (often using large electric wheelchairs) and people with cognitive disabilities, sensory disabilities as well as progressive changes in abilities over time. Some people live with a combination of these disabilities. Summer Housing has worked to develop cost-effective, simple customisation and adaption solutions that will enable straight-forward modifications to meet the individual needs of the tenant(s) living in the apartment.
Living options and design approaches for people with significant disabilities have often been restricted by a paternalistic focus on safety concerns. In order to respect the rights to dignity of risk for people with disability, the Summer Housing approach focuses on design and features that support independence and choice about risks, rather than taking a protective and limiting perspective.
With the introduction of the NDIS and its insurance framework, it is important to consider the way in which design, use of product, and individual customisations can contribute to savings in lifetime support costs. This framework has influenced the inclusion of a number of design features as well as selection of product.