Access Accommodation president Paul Bell said while the survey results were pleasing, funding was needed.
Access Accommodation president Paul Bell said while the survey results were pleasing, funding was needed. Tara Miko Emeaccess

Survey reveals Central Highlands wants assisted care houses

PEOPLE with a disability in the Central Highlands have overwhelmingly showed they want to live independently.

But that option is virtually impossible in the region which lacks suitable housing and facilities Access Accommodation president Paul Bell said.

Mr Bell said a recent Accommodation Needs Assessment survey revealed almost 57% of the 70 respondents of people with a disability wanted to live independently with one in five indicating they required a high-level of assistance at home.

"While the sample is relatively modest in survey terms, it's a huge result for our local disability community," Mr Bell said.

"We know these voices matter - that's why this survey is an important step in identifying demand and services for this region."

Mr Bell said a block neighbouring the existing Access Accommodation home on Moriarty St had been zoned for development, but construction could not begin until funding had been secured.

"The council has signed off on it and we just need to find the funding for it. The block is ready to go," he said.

Mr Bell said progress under the National Disability Insurance Scheme was positive but the local organisation remained focused on delivering housing options in the region with support from the Queensland Government.

He said support was guaranteed on the local level as proven through the Rio Tinto-funded survey, which also found 67% of respondents in Capella and 63% in Blackwater were aged 17 or younger.

More than half indicated they wanted to relocate to Emerald.

Mr Bell said this was indicative of the employment and support services available in town.

The survey showed 25% of people would prefer to live in Blackwater.


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