A sod turning ceremony was held today to officially mark the start of work on a new purpose-built accessible home for people with disability in Benalla.
BeyondHousing and Yooralla have partnered to construct the new home at Wattletree Grove, which will be one of the first of its kind in the Ovens Murray region.
BeyondHousing will build the home and Yooralla will provide the disability supports to the residents.
The home will be built to meet the National Disability Insurance Scheme (NDIS) Specialist Disability Accommodation standards, designed to provide people with disability with greater independence.
The ceremony was attended by Benalla Councillor and Yooralla Board Member Barbara Alexander AO, Acting Benalla Mayor Cr Peter Davis, Gwen Turner former Board Member of Central Access Limited (CAL), Yooralla and BeyondHousing management and staff, future residents and their families.
Celia Adams, Chief Executive Officer of BeyondHousing, said she was delighted about the partnership with Yooralla and the opportunity to provide housing for people with disability in Benalla.
“BeyondHousing believes that housing is a fundamental human right and that all people should have access to safe, secure, affordable and appropriate housing. This project delivers on these values and we are pleased to partner with Yooralla who have been committed to upholding human rights and equality for 100 years,” she said.
BeyondHousing is the largest community housing organisation within the Goulburn and Ovens Murray regions of Victoria, providing homelessness, housing, support and advocacy services to over 5,000 people annually. The organisation’s vision is for all people to have safe, secure, affordable and appropriate housing and its purpose is to end homelessness.
Dr Sherene Devanesen, Chief Executive Officer of Yooralla, said that Yooralla wanted customers to be involved in the decision making process from the very beginning, as it will be their home.
Yooralla sites across Victoria celebrated the centenary with customers, residents friends and family.
“The future residents provided input on design, layout, colour scheme and amenities to design a home for their future. The new home will be constructed specifically for the six customers who currently live at a Yooralla residential site in Garden Street in Benalla,” said Dr Devanesen.
“I would like to acknowledge that this important project for the region was initiated and supported by CAL,” said Dr Devanesen.
CAL was a community based organisation that provided accommodation, employment and community activities for people with disability. It merged with Yooralla in 2011.
“The Central Access Limited Board made the decision to gift Yooralla the land at Wattletree Grove to build the home. I would also like to recognise the capital funds that CAL donated to make this vision a reality,” said Dr Devanesen.
Yooralla has supported people with disability since 1918 and is a large disability service provider in Victoria. In Benalla, Yooralla has a Community Hub that provides day services; a Business Enterprise, which provides supported employment; respite and permanent accommodation and an opportunity shop.
BeyondHousing is the largest community housing organisation within the Goulburn and Ovens Murray regions of Victoria. BeyondHousing is committed to addressing housing affordability, tackling homelessness and fostering housing stability.
The development will be completed in 2019.