Adaptable Apartments: Design Insights

The Summer Foundation is building housing demonstration projects with apartments designed for people with disability peppered throughout larger residential developments. There is a space onsite for disability support workers to provide 24 hour on call support. This 3 minute video demonstrates the smart home technology in our first housing demonstration project in inner Melbourne that was developed in collaboration with the Transport Accident Commission and Common Equity Housing Limited. Our second housing demonstration project in the Hunter NDIS trial site will have 10 apartments for people with disability peppered throughout a private development with 110 units. An additional one bedroom apartment is a hub for disability support workers to provide 24 hour support. These apartments are currently being built.

The Summer Foundation recently launched its latest publication, New Housing Options For People with Significant Disability: Design Insights. The report provides insights into design of apartments for people with disability based on learnings from housing demonstration projects in Abbotsford, Victoria and the Hunter region of NSW. The Summer Foundation is developing a small number of innovative housing and support projects to demonstrate a new and more inclusive housing option for people with significant disability. These housing demonstration projects are changing thinking about housing and support options for people with disabilities in Australia. The long-term vision is that this model of integrated housing for people with disability is routinely included in all new medium and high-density residential developments throughout
Australia.

The Summer Foundation is committed to widely disseminating this knowledge to encourage other organisations to replicate this and similar models. This will increase the range of housing options available for these young Australians and prevent admission into residential aged care facilities. The report documents the evolving insights about how to design housing to support people with significant disabilities to live in their own apartment with as much independence as possible. This project aims to show that well-located, well-designed accessible and adaptable housing coupled with smart home technology and appropriate support can increase quality of life and independence and reduce life-time care costs. This is the first of three reports regarding housing that will be released by the Summer Foundation over the next three weeks. One of these reports is about social finance for housing for people with disability the other report documents the key learnings of our first housing demonstration project from the perspective of the collaborators involved in developing the project.