A ‘prototype’ is a life-size, fully-functioning example of a possible solution to a problem. There is a lack of accessible housing for people with disability who need temporary options.
This prototype is a housing unit that is:
• Quick to construct
It is an accessible housing unit that can be installed behind a family home or as a small hub of units on other parcels of land. The prototype promotes aspirational, contemporary and modern living.
There are many nifty features to this prototype, and you can read more about them here.
A few highlights are:
• Wide doorways, with easy-to-use door handles and provision for remotely-controlled doors
• Modern design; contemporary living
• Bedroom with slide-away wall into living space
• Versatile, height-adjustable table suitable for both food preparation and dining
• Voice activated down lights in all rooms
• World class Guldmann system ceiling hoist
Around 50 young Australians are admitted into nursing homes every week across the country. Most of these people enter aged care straight from hospital or rehab.
When someone acquires a disability – after being involved in a serious car accident, or experiencing a severe stroke or other trauma – the first challenge is medical. The next challenge is often finding somewhere to live beyond hospital.
Most Australians don’t live in accessible homes, so many people who acquire a disability can’t return home until it has been modified to suit their needs. Some people have to look for somewhere entirely new to live. Either way, it takes time – usually many months.
Meanwhile, people are often forced out of hospital into inappropriate housing, such as aged care, where they quickly lose their independence and become disconnected from family and friends.
The idea behind the Rapid Interim Housing Prototype is to give people somewhere to live in the interim. Once the necessary permits and preparation are complete, the unit can be relocated quickly – in a single day – providing a great temporary home for people as they get their long-term home sorted.
With the introduction of the NDIS, the future of accessible housing for people with disability is changing. The NDIS promotes choice, control and innovation.
We saw a gap in the market where people with disability stuck in unsuitable housing couldn’t find temporary options. The Summer Foundation decided to fill that gap, and work with others to scale it up in the future.
We want to demonstrate to the market what is possible when it comes to temporary housing for someone with high or complex disability support needs.
Housing like this may support someone's ability to live independently and maintain their family and community connections while they wait for modifications to be done to their existing home or they find suitable alternative housing.
Our aim for this prototype is that housing providers, owners of vacant land, health professionals and governments all think about how they could be involved in making options like this a reality for people with disability. We also want to help the public and people with disability think about the range of high quality options that should be possible.
First, we started looking at all of the different types of interim housing and accessible housing in Australia. We realised there wasn’t much available at all! We then took our experience developing accessible apartments, and facilitated workshops with people who have lived experience of disability, as well as occupational therapists and other professionals who could help us understand the best types of design.
Armed with a well-informed design brief, we were able to select an expert builder, Oscar Building, to turn the concept into a reality! Every element of the home has been carefully considered - you can read more about the features here. Given that this is only a prototype, we are encouraging people to share their feedback so we can make improvements to future versions.
The unit has been designed with the aim of it being a short-term solution for people with disability. With that in mind, we have designed a smaller dwelling than most people would choose to live in if it was their permanent home.
Building takes from 4 to 8 weeks. Once built it takes less than a day to demount and install.
Engineering, connection to services and council approval all need to be considered when thinking about how to make options like this a reality.
This unit was designed to be a prototype. It won’t meet everyone’s needs. One of the things we looked for in choosing a manufacturer of this unit was a company that could be flexible and respond to individual’s needs.
The unit can be customised. If you want to speak with someone about what changes could and couldn’t be made, you can speak with one of the housing providers we will have been working with (see Organisations below) or Oscar Building.
This type of housing unit is not currently available to purchase or rent. We have produced the first unit as a prototype, to learn what worked and what could be designed better.
There are still some "unknowns". Importantly, we don’t yet know how NDIA, TAC or other government funding could be used to purchase or rent the unit. We also haven’t got a clear and precise sense of the costs of connecting to services or navigating town planning approval.
Despite these unknowns, we’ve been sharing this journey with a few housing providers who know how we’ve designed this unit. These providers are interested in making this option a reality for people with disabilities.
You can contact the following organisations to talk further about what you need and they may be able to assist you:
• Illowra Projects
These housing providers can assist people to navigate the NDIS process, as well as the logistics of installing the unit on a site.
Just remember that it’s still very early days. Everyone is still working out how to make this a reality so if you do speak with providers, understand that they are still working things out too.
If you are interested in buying a unit yourself, you can speak directly with the manufacturer, Oscar Building.
The Summer Foundation designed this unit because we saw a significant gap in housing options for people with disability, especially those stuck in aged care or hospital.
The Summer Foundation isn’t planning to produce any more of these housing units. Instead, we are sharing what we have learned with other providers so they can scale up this model.
If you’re interested in buying one of these units for yourself or for renting to a person with a disability, you might want to speak with a housing provider who you could partner with.
You can speak with one of the housing providers we have been working with (see Organisations below) or Oscar Building.
Each build will be assessed and quoted case by case. Please contact Oscar Building.
We are very excited about the next steps for this project. We are working to build the capacity of others with access to capital and housing development expertise to deliver this on a larger scale.
NDIS funding and support
We anticipate that this prototype could be enrolled as a New Build Villa (Class 1a; High Physical Support category) for 1 resident. Refer to the SDA Price Guide for more information.
The unit meets the NDIA’s design requirements for other categories (e.g. Improved Livability and Fully Accessible). This will mean for most people that the unit has more features than they need. This might not be a problem for most people, because we all benefit from more accessible spaces.
For someone who doesn't need a wheelchair accessible space, there may be benefits to having a smaller unit, for example, lower construction costs.
We have incorporated robust design features, such as strengthened walls, in to the unit for participants who require robust housing. Robust housing is housing that can sustain heavy physical exposure and support the needs of people with complex behaviours. The unit wasn’t specifically designed for people who might need very robust features, but if someone does need extra features to strengthen the unit, we think it’s very likely these can be included.
If you want to speak with someone about what changes could and couldn’t be made, you can speak with one of the housing providers we have been working with (see Organisations below) or Oscar Building.
The prototype unit design does not include OOA, but the design could be modified to include an OOA space.
The Summer Foundation is a not-for-profit organisation that exists to create, lead and demonstrate long-term sustainable changes that stops young people with disability from being forced to live in aged care because there is nowhere else for them. We believe that young people with disability and complex care needs have inherent value as members of our society and should have access to a range of housing and support options that enhance health, wellbeing and participation.
Oscar Building is a modular building manufacturer supplying fixed and relocatable buildings. It supplies innovative, modular building solutions for both domestic and commercial clients throughout Australia. The company is based in Horsham, Victoria. The Oscar group of companies also manufactures customisable lift and recline furniture, as well as healthcare and rehabilitation equipment.
Oscar building is responsible for the design and manufacture of this prototype.
Stretchy Tech offer simple, discrete and contemporary customised inclusive technology that allows people living with disability to achieve things with ease that would otherwise be difficult or out of reach. Stetchy Tech know what technology works and know how to get people with disability operating this technology with ease, whether that be by hand, switch, voice control or any other method. Stretchy Tech are skilled at working with people living with all types of disability or impairment. They work directly with individuals as well as offer specialist consultancy services to service planners, OTs, personal support agencies, housing providers and government.
They are based in South Australia, but work nationally. They are not wedded to any one technology supplier and look for products that won’t set people living with disability apart from mainstream society. If anything, they will set you ahead.
The Transport Accident Commission (TAC) pays benefits to people injured in transport accidents. Working closely with Victoria Police and Vic Roads, the TAC also develops campaigns that increase awareness of issues, change behaviour and reduce the incidence of road trauma.
The TAC provided a grant towards the development and display of this prototype.
Illowra Projects are a provider of Specialist Disability Accommodation and have the ability to work with people to scale up this prototype and turn it into a reality. Illowra Projects believe that everyone should have the opportunity to achieve personal living goals regardless of ability. They are passionate about great outcomes and involve individuals in the design of their new home to meet their explicit needs.
Illowra Projects have a team of highly experienced professionals with expertise in development management, building design, occupational therapy, disability property management, and finance that ensures each project achieves excellence in design, construction, ongoing management, and achieves participant independent living goals.
BlueCHP is a not-for-profit community housing provider and developer. They develop affordable housing and have specialist skills in the ownership, management and delivery of affordable housing, including Specialist Disability Accommodation for individuals and institutions. In addition to the 1,700 affordable dwellings built to date, BlueCHP is currently delivering the NDIA’s largest disability housing project (HOME4LIFE), where 69 group homes will be constructed from Sydney to Northern NSW.
BlueCHP can work with you to understand your specific housing needs, including access to modular housing in clusters or individually, as well as specialist disability accommodation options.
P: 07 34800082
M: 0428 122 303