New homes for residents of Central Coast disability organisation, Fairhaven Services, were officially opened by the Hon. John Ajaka, Minister for Disability Services, Ageing, Multiculturalism, at Kincumber on Friday 18 November 2016.
The 10,400 square meter site has five purpose-built homes designed to address the specific support needs of people who live with intellectual and physical disabilities.
The project is a partnership between Fairhaven Services, who provided the land, and NSW Dept of Family & Community Services (Ageing, Disability & Home Care), who funded the $4.5 million build as part of a commitment to devolve Large Residential Centres.
Features of the Kincumber development include:
- Five fully accessible houses with either two, three or five bedroom shared living
- Rainwater tanks and greywater system
- Photo voltaic cells for solar power and solar heating
- Low bench tops
- Wide halls and doorways.
Janie Cruickshank, Contemporary Living Options Manager at Fairhaven Services, has been involved with the Project Implementation Committee (PIC) since formed in 2013. The PIC membership includes representatives from NSW Dept of Family and Community Services (Ageing, Disability & Home Care), Urban Growth NSW, Fairhaven Services, Family Members and key personnel from the construction company.
“This redevelopment project represents a significant cultural shift in societal attitudes towards how people with disability live their lives. Large residential centres are no longer seen as an appropriate living option.
As with many in the community, our Residents now live in a two, three or five bedroom home with housemates they have chosen. The smaller living environment provides opportunity for each Resident to be supported to develop skills associated with everyday home life – for example; cooking, grocery shopping at the local supermarket, maintaining the home, inviting friends to visit.” Ms Cruickshank said.
“We’ve had a glimpse at the potential of many of our Residents, while living in rental properties during the twelve month construction period. As new skills around the home were learned, confidence grew.
We’re looking forward to further enhancing the wide variety of abilities to live a more independent life in their new homes and participate fully in their local community.” she added.
Fairhaven Services, a not for profit organisation, has been providing employment, community and residential support for people living with disability on the Central Coast since 1962.
Fairhaven’s accommodation service currently supports 20 residents in six properties in the greater Gosford area. An additional two villas, currently under construction at Booker Bay, will be occupied by five residents who are living in other rental accommodation until the project is completed.
Michael Bird (right) relaxes at his new home in Kincumber with guests (l-r) Adam Crouch, Member for Terrigal, the Honourable Jon Ajaka, Member for Ageing Disability Multiculturalism and Tony Anderson, Fairhaven CEO.
Dignified guests at the event included John Ryan (ADHC), Jon Ajaka MP, Clive Blunt (Fairhaven Board Chairman), Liesl Tesch (Paralympian, Fairhaven Ambassador), Adam Crouch MP and Tony Anderson (Fairhaven CEO).