New project helps fill social housing gap in Mackay

Aruma celebrates more social housing in Mackay, alongside our partners.

March 23, 2023

Leading disability provider Aruma is growing supports for even more people with a disability in Queensland, this time working with first-time Specialist Disability Accommodation (SDA) developers Leben Homes to offer accessible, high-physical support apartments in Mackay, from April 2023.

Leben Homes has built four impressive SDA apartments in the Mackay suburb Mount Pleasant. Aruma is excited to join SDA provider Inhab to provide support to four eligible National Disability Insurance Scheme (NDIS) participants to move into these fit-for-purpose apartments.

This follows Aruma’s recent expansion into Cairns, where we’re teaming up with partners to offer six SDA homes and community supports in the area.

Aruma CEO Dr Martin Laverty will join our partners, local people with a disability, other providers and the general community at an Open Day for the apartments on Wednesday, March 22. The event offers a rare opportunity for everyone in Mackay who is interested to check out these specialised homes, while meeting
partner representatives and enjoying a free barbecue.

Local media including WIN News Mackay, ABC Tropical North, and 7 News Mackay covered the event.

Martin highlighted the ongoing issue of low availability of social housing in areas like Mackay, with some 50,000 people across Queensland on the social housing waitlist, according to the Queensland Council of Social Service.

“With such high demand and low availability of social housing in areas like Mackay, Aruma is thrilled to be expanding our services in an area in need, particularly in SDA housing, which is so specialised and caters for some very vulnerable people in our community,” Martin said.

“It makes sense to do what we can as a disability provider in working with our partners to help fill vital social housing gaps like we’re seeing in Mackay. The Open Day was a celebration of lots of hard work to get this project finished and more than 60 locals joined us to tour the property and enjoy a free barbecue.

“These incredible homes offer people with a disability a lifestyle full of independence, pride, and comfort, with accessible features like wide door frames, lowered benches, and voice-controlled kitchen and bathroom appliances and blinds. The villas even have a hydrotherapy pool and other shared spaces for residents to relax and enjoy.”

Prospective tenant Lauren, who hopes to move into one of the new apartments once funding is confirmed, and her mum Mel enjoyed checking out the apartments at Open Day.

“We hope Lauren will be able to move into one of these amazing apartments soon, once we confirm her NDIS funding,” Mel said.

“With the assisted technology and features like lowered benches and wardrobes, she’ll have so much independence, which we just can’t offer her at home.”

“Even though it was an incredibly hard decision for Lauren to move out, the hardest part has been how we would work the overnight supports as I really didn’t want to take on the overwhelming task of trying to work that out.”

The Open Day attracted more than 60 Mackay locals and was held on Wednesday, 22 March 2023.

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