The Disability Accommodation Landscape in Queensland

About the Project

Introduction:

The Specialist Disability Accommodation program was introduced as part of the National Disability Insurance Scheme with the goal of encouraging “investment and growth in housing supply which would also add to the diversity of accommodation available to people with disability” (Beer et al., 2019, p. 1). While there has been significant expansion in the number of registered providers since its inception, early research undertaken by the Australian Housing and Urban Research Institute (AHURI) has identified that despite sufficient market capacity to “enable large-scale investment” (Beer et al., 2019, p. 1) in the sector this has not necessarily happened. There are also indications of distribution disparities within the marketplace, both in terms of location (i.e. regional versus urban areas) and type of accommodation available throughout the state. The current COVID-19 conditions have also brought attention to issue such as the number of individuals with extended stays in settings like hospitals while awaiting suitable accommodation. A range of factors have been identified as contributing to this lack, amongst which is a level of uncertainty as to supply-demand aspects of the market. In the accommodation market-place the accuracy and availability of quality data is particularly important given market features such as the long lead times associated with the design and construction process, fixed geographical nature of the product/s, and considerable initial longterm investment (with payback over an extended period of time) that increases the level of risk borne by providers and investors.

Aim:

The aim of the project is to develop a more detailed understanding of how the marketplace is functioning - in terms of diversity, quantity, and distribution (geographical) - and identify barriers and opportunities for further growth and development.

Approach:

Based within the Hopkins Centre, this is a mixed methods project, which brings together quantitative and qualitative data to produce a detailed portrait of the current disability accommodation market in Qld. The initial mapping stage will utilise quantitative data to map the current diversity, availability and distribution (geographical) of disability accommodation within the marketplace. The foundational knowledge generated in the first stage will be further expanded upon through the collection and analysis of qualitative data (interviews / surveys) from both the provider and consumer perspectives (including individuals and organisational representatives of advocacy and peak bodies). This not only helps provide greater context for the findings from the first stage, but also yields valuable comparative data, facilitating comparison and contrast between the different sector perspectives.

Outcomes:

In addition to the up-to-date geographical mapping of the current market diversity, availability and distribution (geographical) in Queensland, this project will produce an in-depth report which includes identified barriers and opportunities (from both provider and consumer perspectives) to the creation of a well-distributed and responsive marketplace. Together, this research has the potential to not only capture problematic and ‘thin’ market areas but equally importantly proffer ways in which the gaps and overlaps between supply and demand can be bridged in the future. This data also has the potential to pave the way for future investigation which overlays data relating to current and projected consumer need.

 

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