VISION: The site plan for the new disability services facility proposed for Millwell Rd, Maroochydore.
VISION: The site plan for the new disability services facility proposed for Millwell Rd, Maroochydore. Wesley Mission Brisbane

Coast development: Plans for disability facility

WHAT happens to disabled children when their parents, often their primary carers, can no longer look after them?

It's a question that faces many Coast families, as parents get too old to care for their kids, just what will happen to their disabled offspring.

But a Uniting Church initiative in Maroochydore looks set to answer that question for a number of families soon, with plans for a new, three-home facility to house 10 people with disabilities.

Wesley Mission Brisbane are planning to build one four-bedroom and two three-bedroom homes on 2500 sq m of Uniting Church land on Millwell Rd.

The three homes will all be detached, but constructed to create a sense of community for future residents.

The State Government has provided $1 million in funding under its Elderly Parent Carer Innovation Initiative (EPCII) which, combined with about $3.5 million from Wesley Mission Brisbane, will deliver the project.

The housing will cater largely to people with disabilities between the ages of 21-55 whose parents have either passed away or are no longer able to care for their kids.

Subject to a local government planning process, Wesley Mission Brisbane executive director Geoff Batkin said he hoped to have the three, new homes operational by early-October, 2017.

"For a lot of families the sense of release and change in family dynamics will be very significant," he said.

The facility would cater to highly complex disabilities, including acquired brain injuries, cerebral palsy and other conditions and would feature assistant technologies like smartphone applications to create independence with doors, lighting, media and computers.

Maroochydore Uniting Church Reverend James Stevenson said Wesley Mission would purchase the land from the church who would then look to create a community feel around the new facility.

"It's a really pressing need for so many. It's a breath of hope (for many families)," he said.

Rev Stevenson said it was important to foster a community-minded response to the need, rather than an institutionalised approach to the disabled.

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