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No change to disability accommodation arrangements: Minister

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The State Government says people with disabilities living in State Government accommodation can continue to do so for the immediate future, with plans to privatise the system put on hold.

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The Liberal Party entered the state election promising to transition all disability services – including Supported Community Accommodation – to the non-government sector within the Marshall Government’s “first 100 days” of office.

Thirteen months later, the Government is no longer in a hurry to enact its policy.

In a statement to InDaily, Human Services Minister Michelle Lensink said people living in State Government accommodation services would not need to move to the private sector for the time being.

“Feedback told us that some clients want to continue to choose us as their provider as the NDIS matures, while others are excited about the choices the NDIS presents and want to choose another service provider now,” she said.

“We will support clients with their choices.”

It comes after a Government consultation report by the Australian Centre for Social Innovation (TACSI), released today, detailed “insights” from 44 people with disabilities living in supported accommodation and/or with carers, friends and family members.

InDaily reported in June 2018 that about 500 people with disabilities living in supported community accommodation were left uncertain about their housing situation after the Government notified disability workers, through a department email, that it would transition housing to the private sector in line with the NDIS.

According to TACSI’s report, people living in Government supported accommodation and their families, friends and guardians were concerned about moving to the private sector – in part – because they feel they have not been provided with the important information needed to make informed choices.

“People feel they haven’t been kept informed and would like information more regularly,” the report said.

While there is no immediate change to the way community accommodation services are provided, people living in supported accommodation will need to transition onto non-government accommodation in the future, in line with the NDIS.

“We will continue to work to reform the way we deliver accommodation services, so it operates effectively in the NDIS environment,”  Lensink said.

“If clients would like to continue to choose Accommodation Services as their provider as the NDIS matures, they can. If they would like to choose another non-government service provider, we will support them.

“Our focus continues to be on supporting clients during this change, as they transition and adjust to the NDIS.”

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