Media Release by Senator the Hon Jan McLucas

Developing innovative accommodation solutions for people with disability

People with disability and their families are one step closer to seeing 150 new supported accommodation places rolled out across the country.

The draft guidelines for the new $60 million Supported Accommodation Innovation Fund have been released for public comment with organisations expected to be able to apply in the coming months.

The Parliamentary Secretary for Disabilities and Carers, Senator Jan McLucas, said this was an important step toward the Gillard Government’s election commitment of 150 innovative, community-based supported accommodation and respite places.

“People with disability want to lead independent and fulfilling lives but often they need some support in their living arrangements,” Senator McLucas said.

“The Gillard Government’s Supported Accommodation Innovation Fund provides much needed extra supported accommodation to ease the pressure on ageing carers.”

“We need to answer the question being asked by carers, which is ‘What will happen to my son, daughter, partner, when I am no longer able to care for them?”

“We need a range of models to suit differing needs and that’s what this program seeks to do – to drive innovation and models that recognise difference.”

Projects funded under SAIF may include renovations to existing homes, the pooling of resources to build new accommodation services close to community and health services and the modification of existing accommodation in the community.

“The new accommodation places to be delivered under SAIF will help take the pressure off ageing carers.”

“In some instances, SAIF may also help in reducing the number of young people living in residential aged care or those at risk of being accommodated there.”

“I encourage stakeholders to comment on the exposure draft guidelines,” Senator McLucas said.

The Supported Accommodation Innovation Fund supports the Government’s National Disability Strategy, a ten-year reform plan for all governments to address the barriers faced by Australians with disability and encourage greater social inclusion that was endorsed by all levels of government earlier this year.

This funding is on top of the more than $6 billion already provided to states and territories for supported accommodation and other specialist disability services over five years through the National Disability Agreement.

The Australian Government has also provided $100 million in capital funds for the states and territories to build more than 300 supported accommodation places for people with a severe disability being looked after by ageing carers.

The draft guidelines, as well as details about how to make a submission, are available at

The submission period closes 25 July 2011.

An open selection process will commence later in 2011.