Understanding the housing aspirations of public housing tenants aged over 55 years in Logan

Churches of Christ Housing Services is very pleased to present the Building Housing Options report to the Queensland Government, which was developed in close collaboration with our colleagues at Brisbane Housing Company. This valuable piece of research helps build on our experience in providing modern, purpose-built housing for downsizing public housing tenants. We trust that it will contribute significantly to the evidence base regarding the housing needs of older Queenslanders.

Working with the support of government, private and community sector partnerships, Churches of Christ in Queensland has been delivering quality seniors housing and care for over 85 years. Churches of Christ’s innovative integrated campus model co-locates affordable community housing, retirement living and residential aged care services.

This model promotes independent living where residents can age in their community with freedom, privacy, dignity and security; safe in the knowledge that as their needs change, their care and support will be taken care of. The campuses provide high quality community housing that integrate with the established infrastructure of its existing retirement villages and aged care services. The co-location of community housing with retirement villages alongside residential and community aged care services provides an integrated service offering beyond just the provision of housing.

The campuses provide both independent and supported living environments alongside a coordinated service platform which entails on-site care and support services to suit resident’s current and future needs. Our services provided are underpinned by our philosophy of care to enhance quality of life and promote wellness and independence for all residents. They incorporate universal design principles and environmental sustainability elements which support the reduction in household running costs for residents.

These developments have been targeted specifically at people like those surveyed for this research, that is, those over the age of 55 who are currently living in public housing properties which have become too difficult to maintain or no longer meet their physical needs.

Since 2012, we have now delivered this model at three sites in Bribie Island, Mitchelton and most recently at Acacia Ridge. We partnered with the Department of Housing and Public Works to support 110 public housing residents to transition to our purpose built seniors campuses. This research indicates that over one third of respondents have considered alterative housing options. They also identified their key priorities and aspirations as being security, proximity to services, accessibility, and continued amenity, such as gardens. Each of these priorities are valued inputs to the design of our integrated campus developments.

This research also reflects Churches of Christ Housing Services’ longstanding commitment to resident engagement. We were greatly encouraged by the positive level of engagement by the respondents in this research. The opportunity of being invited into their homes to reflect on their housing experiences was a true privilege for the researchers. This enhanced a level of trust that provided for residents genuine views, concerns and aspirations to be heard.

Churches of Christ Housing Services continues to grow our established resident engagement initiatives such as our Tenant Advisory Group, our Community Housing Chaplains, and our recently established Community Cohesion Team. Each of these maintain a genuine tenant participation in our processes and in our development of new housing solutions and support options. In addition to this ongoing work, we have also commissioned independent research to focus on the improved social outcomes of our integrated seniors campuses. In 2015, an independent outcomes evaluation of our integrated campus in Mitchelton found that residents experienced positive changes, including:

  1. Increased independence and ability to manage their own home
  2. Reduced stress and isolation
  3. Increased physical health, mental health and mobility
  4. Increased help-seeking skills and feelings of connectedness
  5. Increased positive change in housing status and reduced risk of homelessness.

In partnership with The University of Queensland, we commenced in 2016 a longitudinal social outcomes study into the experiences of under-occupying public housing residents moving to the newly developed Wattle Apartments at our Acacia Ridge Campus.

We stand ready to play our part in any initiative that improves the response to advancing a life of dignity for Queensland’s ageing population. I see great enthusiasm amongst our partners. Together, we can deliver more adequate, sustainable and appropriate models of affordable housing for over 55s.

To view the Building Housing Options report, go to http://www.hpw.qld.gov.au/SiteCollectionDocuments/BuildingHousingOptionsReport.pdf

Posted May 19, 2017 in News