Recently Waminda Services announced The Waminda Residential Initiative, an innovative solution
to finding accessible housing for people with a disability.


General Manager of Waminda Services Tania Marshall said, “The Initiative has been three years in
the making and we are excited to have the project at a stage to share the concept plans with the
business community and key government stakeholders.


“The housing crisis has affected our region and particularly affected our clients. Currently, we have
couples without disability both earning a living and unable to get accommodation in Dalby. It is even
more difficult for someone with a disability to compete for accommodation, particularly when they
need accessible accommodation which is almost non-existent in our region.


“This situation prompted us to create The Waminda Residential Initiative. We have partnered with
WD Building Design to develop housing for a minimum of forty-five people with a disability across
nine five-bedroom supported independent living homes and eight independent living units.”
The project was announced at the Dalby Chamber of Commerce and Industry’s Business After Hours
hosted by Waminda Services with over fifty businesses in attendance.
Waminda Services has provided support in Dalby and surrounds to children and adults with a
disability since 1978. They currently employ seventy staff members who support over two hundred
clients.


Ms Marshall said “This development is not for short-term stays. It provides a permanent home for
our clients who require 24/7 care or those who can live independently in a home with the right
accessible features with just a little extra support.
“This project will fill a gap that is currently unavailable in the region whilst also future-proofing for
clients with higher needs. Each room will be structurally designed to be able to support the addition
of hoists if needed by future residents.”


The Waminda Residential Initiative has been designed to look like a residential village. It will include
large areas of green space and communal areas for barbeques and catch-ups. The site will have a
community centre for resident activities and a commercial kitchen that can cater for events on-site.
The Supported Independent Living homes will house up to four residents and an onsite overnight
staff member. Each home will have five bedrooms and five bathrooms. Each client bathroom will be
a fully accessible wet room.


The single-bedroom independent units will provide a home for those who need only a little extra
support to live independently.


Access to each house and unit will be via ramps and include wide doorways and hallways to assist
with access for residents with impaired mobility.
Ms Marshall said “The project is not community housing however it will still operate under a model
of affordable accommodation. It will be built to Specialist Disability Accommodation standards but
not classed as SDA housing. This project fulfills Waminda’s vision to provide clients with safe,
accessible and affordable accommodation without having to leave our region.”
For the project to become a reality Waminda Services were able to source a one-hectare block of
land from Western Downs Regional Council on which the purpose-built accessible homes will be
constructed.


“Waminda currently has clients in five houses within Dalby. Once construction is completed, we will
then be able to release those homes to the open market thus easing the housing crisis in our region.
“We currently have clients having to live in a nursing home. This project will ensure we are able to
meet the Australian Government target of no people under the age of sixty-five living in residential
care by 2025,” Ms Marshall said.

Article supplied.