Over the past six weeks, the Summer Foundation's Housing Hub Team has been presenting online Housing Options workshops for people with a disability and their families in Tasmania. I was pleased to be a facilitator at these workshops. Up until now, people with a disability in Tasmania have mainly had the traditional options for housing, such as group homes or having to live with family; but not anymore.
In the workshops, we presented information on the more mainstream housing options that are available such as the rental market and home ownership. This included covering the Tasmanian Government initiatives “Better Housing Futures” and “Streets Ahead”. After that, we explored the very exciting Specialist Disability Accommodation market and the important aspect of separation of housing and supports. Throughout the workshop were activities that helped participants think about what they want in a home and led to them writing up their housing plan for the NDIS.
I was one of 5 facilitators with lived experience of negotiating our housing journeys. We were able to share our experiences with all the participants, which prompted great discussions. I think hearing our experiences helped the participants to know that their housing dreams are possible and that they can work towards achieving them.
One of our participants stated about the workshops:
“Excellent information about all the housing options available in the state; such a variety of options which I was unaware of. I particularly loved hearing from peers living with disability and their experiences. It was invaluable.”
The workshops were focused on people with a disability and their families and they made up most of our participants. We also held a special workshop, covering the same information, for service providers, disability advocates, support coordinators and allied health professionals. It is vital they are abreast of all the housing options available and through the workshop we were able to present them with information that they could then take back to their clients.
I am proud that I was a part of this workshop. We presented information in an easy to understand format and I believe the participants truly received a wealth of knowledge which empowers them to negotiate a suitable housing future for themselves.
The Tasmanian Housing Options Workshops were made possible by the ANZ Community Foundation through a grant.
The Summer Foundation's Housing Hub Team are running online workshops about housing options for people with disabilities and their families across the country.
Belinda has worked as a Lived Experience Facilitator in the Summer Foundation's Housing Hub Team since June 2020. She brings the experience of navigating her own housing journey which sees her now living in an SDA apartment. Belinda has a Bachelor of Commerce from Deakin University.
Belinda is passionate about PwD having a voice and a say in their own housing journey, which will lead them to having the best support, choice and flexibility in how they live.
Belinda is also the SDA Tenants' Reference Group Lead. Learn more about the group here.