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It is the ultimate dream for many of us to have a place to call home. This dream came true for Kelly when she received the life-changing news that a St Agnes Parish Community Housing property had been allocated to her.
Before getting the news of her successful application, Kelly lived with her mother, Colleen. Low NDIS funding proved to be a relentless challenge for the family and for Kelly being able to live the lifestyle of her choosing. On top of this burden was Colleen’s fear that if anything happened to her in the future, Kelly would not have the supports or skills in place to be able to live on her own.
St Agnes Parish Community Housing provides a limited number of secure, long-term dwellings to those in need and links to specialist support from other community organisations, including disability NDIS. With little tenancy turnover, lengthy waiting list times are often the result.
Sue Blain, Manager of Community Housing, said: ‘It can be a long and hard process to get a property because even though we take enquiries each week, there are so many people wanting and needing housing and I have to prioritise the property to allocate. It’s about getting the tenant mix right and finding the right property where residents like Kelly will have informal supports and like-minded people around her.’
When Kelly is not volunteering with the Koala Hospital, Kendal Riding for the Disabled, out on a day trip or with her NDIS support worker, she is busy making her new property ‘home’. Kelly saved tirelessly to be able to furnish her new home and has recently finished her ‘backyard blitz’, creating her little piece of paradise.
Kelly is not shy about how this move has had a positive impact on her life. ‘It’s really good to have my own place and I love it very much. I think I have come along way. I’ve got courage because I am living by myself now, and before I was a bit nervous about moving out from home, now I got used to it, and I love being in my unit cause it’s so peaceful and so relaxing and I really enjoy it.’
NDIS support worker Meg has also seen a big difference in Kelly since her move. ‘Her confidence has grown, she is doing really well.’ Each week, Kelly and Meg plan a meal, shop for the ingredients together and then prepare the meal together in Kelly’s kitchen. Kelly said: ‘We go to the shop together, and Meg says to me you are doing a fantastic job, getting the items off the shopping list and putting them in the trolley.’
Kelly’s mother, Colleen, said: ‘My little girl moved out for the first time; it was such a proud moment. She has really grown, now she will pick up the phone, text and engage with people much more than she used to. The property allocation and the NDIS support have combined perfectly and helped Kelly meet wonderful new friends and experience new things that would not have been an option before.’