Housing options in Canberra
Improved provision of accessible and well-designed housing for people with disability is a key priority area under the National Disability Strategy 2010-2020.
Having somewhere to live encompasses more than just bricks and mortar; it is a key factor in community participation and connectedness. Adequate housing is not only important for economic security, but also for physical and mental wellbeing, independence and identity. The security of owning or renting your home provides freedom of choice and is the basis for social and economic participation in our community.
There is evidence, however, that people with disability experience substantial barriers in finding a place to live, particularly in the private market. People with disability and their families want to have the choice to live in their own home in safety, with control over who they live with, and where they live. The challenge is to combine these goals with the supply of affordable accessible housing.
The ACT Government is committed to working with the community and people with disability to grow and develop innovative options to improve affordability and security of housing, across all forms of tenure for people with disability in the ACT. This page seeks to bring together the variety of housing options available in the ACT.
There are currently a number of housing options for people with disability to explore. The 2018 Having a Home Forum presented information about these options and other topics. Videos of the forum presentations are available to view on YouTube.
Websites for finding non-owner-occupied property to lease or rent:
More real estate listing services are available in the Yellow Pages.
Government–owned housing rented to eligible low or moderate income earners
See Social housing - How to apply on the Community Services Directorate website.
Housing assistance delivered by community organisations to eligible low or moderate income earners. To be eligible you must apply to public housing, and tick the community housing box, then engage with providers.
What is Community Housing? Factsheet on the Community Services Directorate Website
Havelock Housing Association provides a range of affordable, social and specialist disability housing.
Private home ownership
(Accommodation owned independently or through a Special Disability Trust)
Project Independence has also developed a new model for residents with intellectual disability to aquire equity in a property.
Independent apartments attached to family properties
The arrangements are worked out by individuals and family members. For guidance on what questions and values might guide this planning process, see How do I find a home?
This type of accommodation provides both housing and support services for people with a disability. This may be in a group home or other living arrangement where staff are available to support the needs of the people living there.
There's an explanation of shared supported accommodation on this page of the Disability housing hub, which links to vacancies managed by Havelock Housing, and also lists Hartley Lifecare, The Disability Trust, and Valmar.
There are a range of different models and options available. Canberra providers include:
- Living in Networked Communities (LINC) - CatholicCare runs supported communities, with Support Coordinators to provide 'friendly neighbour' support and facilitate social and education gatherings.
- Abbeyfield is a community housing provide that offer assisted independent living for adults with mild intellectual disability.
- Project Independence in which residents acquire equity in the property. The model accomodates up to ten residents living in three separate homes, with accommodation for a live in Resident Coordinator to support residents.
- Summer Housing tenancies and properties are peppered throughout larger mainstream residential developments and are managed by a community housing organisation. An additional apartment on-site accommodates disability support workers to provide tenants with the support they need for an initial period.
Homeshare is a way of bringing together two people – both with a set of needs. The person with a disability is the householder who needs someone in the home to offer them support (usually around 10 hours per week) and the homesharer is a person without disability who needs somewhere affordable to live.
Homeshare works on a reciprocal principle – the householder provides reduced rent / no rent accommodation in exchange for the companionship and pre specified support needs provided by the homesharer.
It’s designed to be a mutually empowering arrangement with both parties being valued for the resources they exchange to meet each other’s needs.
Local organisation Community Connections has a well-regarded Homeshare program.
- Specialist Disability Accommodation is accommodation for people who require specialist housing solutions, including to assist with the delivery of supports that cater for their extreme functional impairment or very high support needs.
- Supported Independent Living is help with and/or supervision of daily tasks to develop the skills of an individual to live as independently as possible. These are the supports provided to a participant in their home, regardless of property ownership, and can be in a shared or individual arrangement.
How can shared equity schemes help people living with disability (Australian Housing and Urban Research Institute)
Summer Foundation resources: Building Better Lives for Young People in Nursing Homes