Western Australia | Urban
To ensure support and acceptance of the project, Churches of Christ Housing Services (CofCHS) engaged with prospective tenants, the wider community and the existing Churches of Christ Care Brig-O-Doon retirement village and aged care service. Furthermore, CofCHS held several information sessions with local prospective residents to assess their housing needs and willingness to voluntarily transition from their long-term homes. CofCHS invited guest speakers to advise about downsizing and provide tips to support residents with the moving process. Occupational therapists also provided input, contributing to the effective internal design of the apartments.
An important consideration was for eligible seniors living in the Inala Housing Service Centre catchment area to be given first preference to transition to Wattle Apartments. The benefit to the transitioning residents was being able to remain connected to the community, friends, family and the services they currently access.
Churches of Christ in Queensland redefines the later years by providing an integrated model for housing that supports them as they grow older. The project features a range of shared communal spaces and outdoor recreational areas including a community garden, communal clothes drying area, off leash dog park, community centre, mobility scooter parking and charging bays, communal barbeque area and planter boxes. This co-location of community facilities and access to these shared spaces help promote a strong sense of place amongst the residents, and additionally fosters opportunities for physical activity, social engagement and interaction.
Churches of Christ Housing Services presented a Building Housing Options report to the Queensland Government, which was developed in collaboration with colleagues at Brisbane Housing Company. This valuable piece of research helps build on experience in providing modern, purpose-built housing for downsizing public housing tenants. This research will contribute significantly to the evidence base regarding the housing needs of older Queenslanders.