Media Release by The Hon Bill Shorten MP

Disability funding gives younger people more choice

Joint Media Release with:

  • The Hon Lisa Neville MP, Victorian Minister for Community Services

A $2.5 million funding package, including the opening of a new supported accommodation house in the Melbourne suburb of Balwyn, is the latest milestone in a national initiative to give younger people with a disability more choice about where and how they live.

Today Community Services Minister Lisa Neville and Federal Bill Shorten visited the six-bedroom house at Balwyn and announced that it will be home to six younger people who previously lived in residential aged care facilities. The Balwyn house will be managed by Scope.

“The $2.5 million funding package is part of the $60.2 million joint Commonwealth and State program over 5 years to begin to tackle the issue of younger people in residential aged care,” Ms Neville said.

“This program was established in response to the 2006 decision by the Council of Australian Governments to address the issue of younger people with a disability living in an aged care facility.

“The Balwyn house is part of the first phase of the my future my choice program that will provide 34 new places in Victoria for younger people in, or at risk of entry to, residential aged care. Further services will be developed across Victoria.”

Mr Shorten said this initiative gives younger people with a range of disabilities such as acquired brain injury, neurological conditions, spinal cord injury and intellectual disability access to a greater range of accommodation options – instead of living in an aged care facility.

my future my choice also gives younger people and their families a greater say in decisions about their future accommodation options. More than 130 younger people participated in individualised assessments and most asked to move into housing options within the community.”

The $2.5 million funding package includes:

  • The Balwyn supported accommodation house;
  • more than $900,000 for individual support packages for 85 younger people living in residential aged care, giving them access to community and social opportunities, allied health, aids and equipment;
  • $586,500 for the provision of specialist aids and equipment for my future my choice participants to enhance their independence; and,
  • $245,116 will be spent on developing a co-ordinated approach across disability and health support programs for people with neurological conditions living in, or at risk of entering, residential aged care.