People with disability want budget investment of $2.7 billion to solve housing crisis

7 February 2019

Disability and housing groups have come together to call for a significant investment in disability housing to make sure that all people with disability live in homes that are safe, affordable and accessible.

“For decades, people with disability have been shut away in institutions, group homes and other kinds of housing that non-disabled people never have to consider. In 2019, we want the right to live in the community, just like everyone else,” said Dean Price, Senior Policy Officer, People with Disability Australia.

“Whether it’s renting, owning a home, or in public and social housing, people with disability need the Federal Government to invest to make sure we have equal access to a place to live. Much of Australia’s housing stock is unaffordable or inaccessible, and our policy settings push people with disability into unsafe and unwanted housing, such as group homes or boarding houses, or even into homelessness.”

“People with disability who use the NDIS aren’t being given the same choices about where they live as non-disabled people, too often being forced into residential aged care. We will need to see a dramatic increase in accessible housing if we are to get young people with disabilities out of residential aged care” said Dr George Taleporos, Policy Manager, Summer Foundation.

“We want to see a big increase in accessible housing that can open up the community housing market for people with disability.”

“Many people with disability find it hard to find an accessible place to live, so we are calling for accessible housing features to be made mandatory in all new housing, and for the Federal Government to provide financial incentives to make sure our social, public and community housing is accessible,” said Margaret Ward, Convenor, Australian Network for Universal Housing Design.

“We also need to make sure that all public, social and community housing is also built to a high accessible standard.”

“Many people with disability on income support are in rental stress, paying more than 30% of their income on rent. We need to increase the Commonwealth Rent Assistance to make sure that people with disability can afford their rent,” said Adrian Pisarski, Executive Officer, National Shelter.

“In addition, we urgently need new capital investment to generate 300,000 new social and Aboriginal housing properties, so we are calling on the Federal Government to invest $1 billion this year, and then $5 billion a year over the forward estimates.”

“This comprehensive package, worth in total $2.7 billion, will be a significant step towards ensuring that people with disability can live in the community, just like everyone else. People with disability shouldn’t be forced into aged care or group homes because there is no other choice,” said Mr Price.

Download the full pre-Budget submission here.