Since being set up as part of the Summer Foundation’s response to COVID-19, the Housing Brokerage Service (HBS) has grown and developed.
“We created the team as a COVID response to use the knowledge and expertise in the organisation to help in the emergency situation we all found ourselves in, but the demand and outcomes have been so positive that we are going to continue until at least December 2020, and possibly even longer,” said Project Lead Cath Bucolo.
The HBS works with NDIS participants with complex needs who are ready for discharge but are often stuck in hospital waiting for an appropriate housing option to be found.
It provides support and mentoring to develop and build the capacity of key professionals, including hospital discharge staff and support coordinators, to explore a person’s housing needs and preferences.
In 5 months, the service has worked with 62 people across Australia to stop them being forced in to aged care when they leave hospital. Pathways have included to an interim serviced apartment, then SDA housing; to long-term
non-SDA housing with supports; and to private rental with supports.
“The key professionals supporting people with disability who are stuck in hospital are all working so hard to find suitable housing – it’s really tough going,” Cath said. “It’s wonderful to be able to bring them our expertise, knowledge and innovative housing search ideas, and work together to really turn around a situation for the better.”
The small team of 3 full-time and 2 part-time staff does the housing search and secondary consultation work.