ILO and housing strategies: a case study

A young man baking with his support worker.

In a recent interview with Mable, Gibbs Hatendi, Area Manager at Care Force (a Tasmanian NDIS registered Service Provider), talked about the housing challenges for people with disability that act as barriers for them to live independently. In the interview, Gibbs also discusses a recent ILO experience.

What are some of the housing challenges for NDIS participants?

Participants find it very hard to secure accommodation in Hobart as the demand for housing continues to rise. Some participants have been on the social housing priority waiting list for over two years and are still waiting to be allocated a house.

Sometimes participants can identify housing opportunities within the private rental market, but they are unable to secure the housing because they do not meet the rental requirements.

Can you give us an example of how you have addressed these barriers?

We recently assisted a man to move into a private rental with his cousin. In the ILO Exploration and Design stage, we worked closely with him and his family and friends to establish the type of housing arrangement he preferred. We thought about what would be suitable for him and how he could be supported in the community. Different options were discussed and he made it clear what his preferred option was.

We have built relationships with two real estate agents in Hobart who are supportive of our work and understand the barriers. This meant we had a way for this man to trial the living arrangement with a support worker before he made a final decision. He really loved the house. His family asked us if there was any way that we could assist him to secure the property and we agreed to assist him. The real estate agents are open to talking with us about different options.

We also have Mentors that assist Participants to maintain their tenancies. They help with things like budgeting, upkeep of the property or any other tenancy obligations. This will normally fall under the Capacity Building categories.

What does the individualised living set-up look like?

His cousin works part time and they share all the bills.

The man is strongly connected with his family, and they usually spend the weekend together with his parents. His family also helps with the groceries when needed.

He has daily NDIS support to help him with household tasks and daily living. He gets along very well with his support staff. He has recently adopted a puppy that he enjoys looking after and takes him for walks regularly with his support workers.

What have you noticed since he moved out of his parents’ home?

I believe the arrangement has been very positive because he now enjoys his independence as he has always desired. He currently has a team of support workers who assist him with his daily living tasks and skills. He appears to be more positive towards life and he has decided to look for part-time employment to assist in managing his bills and make his own choices.

What is your advice with ILO Service Proposals?

It is obviously essential to work very closely with both the participant and their support structure, like family and friends. This is a principle through all our work but helped us get a clearer picture of the participant’s home and living needs.

The ILO Service Proposal needs this very clearly spelt out. It is also important to include a functional capacity assessment. This means working very closely with the participant’s Occupational Therapist, ensuring that their home and living needs are reflected in the reports.

Supporting documentation really is key – evidence that speaks to the participant’s needs will help ensure the right support is allocated. The ILO Service Proposal asks for information about behaviour support plans, identified risks and the ways in which these will be managed. It is really important that all the supporting information aligns with the participant’s goals.

Learn more about individualised living and creating your version of home.