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The lives of Territorians with a significant disability will be improved greatly following the building of two specialist homes in Darwin’s northern suburbs.

The project – from feasibility study to financing and construction – was made possible by a co-contribution Priority Sector Collaborative grant from the Territory Government.

Territory company Accommodating Futures was awarded two grants through the Local Jobs Fund:

  • $28,500 in October 2020 to help with a feasibility study and a business case for the construction of disability accommodation
  • $1 million in August 2023 to support the construction of the homes

Total project cost was $2.998 million, with the company providing a $1.42 million contribution, as well as the land for the two houses.

The properties, which are in Tiwi and Leanyer, will each accommodate up to three residents and one overnight support worker, and support the employment of at least nine full-time disability support workers.

Accommodating Futures works closely with NDIS provider Shaping Futures to ensure a good participant match of tenants in the house.

Accommodating Futures Director Alana Michell says: “We’re looking forward to helping people settle in, and improving their day-to-day lives.

“We have engaged extensively with service providers to open these facilities and they will play a big role in allowing people to live their lives to the best of their abilities.

“The feasibility study and the business case were crucial for this project, as they highlighted the need for this kind of accommodation in the Territory.

“They also explored the viability for these services, allowing us to tailor our facilities to meet those needs for Territorians living with a disability.”

The properties were designed to be fully compliant with Australian Specialist Disability Accommodation requirements and will be classed as High Physical Support, Fully Accessible and Improved Liveability.

Construction of the project was carried out by local builder Lachlan Michell, who used 100 percent local services, including 13 subcontractors and 26 suppliers.

Key features at the Tiwi home include a pool with wheelchair access, oversized hallway access and doors to all rooms, large en suites connected to each bedroom, wheelchair and ambulance access to the front of the property, acoustic sound panelling in the living area, and a room that can double as a shelter during a low-category cyclone.

Investment Commissioner Kelly Ralston says the Local Jobs Fund has played a “pivotal role” in bringing the project to life.

“The feasibility study laid the groundwork for these residences, leading to a business case and later construction, which used 100 per cent local services,” he says.

“We’re always on the hunt for innovative ideas that will strengthen our economy and benefit our communities – whether that’s in Darwin or in the regions.”

Since its inception in 2019, the Local Jobs Fund has approved more than $61 million in funding to 15 successful business applicants.

The Local Jobs Fund is expected to create more than 880 direct jobs and 1814 indirect jobs over the next five years and forecast to contribute more than $1 billion to the Territory’s economy.