New Disability Housing in Adelaide’s North
South Australian not-for-profit Barkuma has spent $3 million on improving homes for people living with disability in the northern suburbs. They plan to spend another $4 million in the future. Barkuma has renovated four connected units in Salisbury, with works completed late 2023.
Barkuma’s Supported Independent Living (SIL) service will house clients in individual units. The organization aims to provide individuals with their own private homes and spaces. This is a move away from group home settings.
“We have seen the tangible benefits of giving people their own space where they can choose to socialise or withdraw depending on how they are feeling and are confident this is the right direction moving forward to provide our people with the best support and care,” Barkuma Chief Executive Officer Simon Rowberry said.
“Barkuma is a leader in providing independent living accommodation for people with disabilities in South Australia and as far as we know, no one else is prioritising this model.
“The Salisbury property is just one of a number of projects we have in the pipeline with the aim to offer more independent living options to the people we support.
“We are still committed to providing shared home options for those who like living with friends, however our focus will be on the majority of residences being for individuals.”
It follows Barkuma’s successful pilot program in Salisbury, with more projects in the pipeline over the next 12-months. There will be a special residence with five single-bedroom units in one building. Additionally, there will be four single-bedroom pods on another property. Both the units and pods will have shared support and common areas.
“The success of our pilot program showed that individuals having their own space in individual units, with shared support is the way forward,” Mr Rowberry said.
“We have seen the significant improvements in behavioural outcomes in a short period of time and this has demonstrated to us just how meaningful the model is and how important it is for people to have a place they can truly call their own.
“Re-investing our profits back into our purpose has been our mission and that has resulted in us developing, building and renovating a number of properties throughout the northern suburbs.”
All projects are entirely Barkuma funded with the organisation using its surpluses to re-invest in its purpose. However, Barkuma is eager to accomplish more at a quicker pace. They welcome individuals, organisations, and the government to partner with them in addressing the housing crisis.
“We see how the current housing crisis is hitting people living with disabilities hard, particularly in the northern Suburbs of Adelaide,” Mr Rowberry said.
“Our accommodation philosophy also includes a commitment as a property-owner to cap rent to ensure our clients are not living below the poverty line.”
Barkuma assists 28 clients with Supported Independent Living. These clients live in different places such as their own properties, rented homes, community housing, and family houses.
Barkuma supports clients to live their best life by assisting with everyday tasks, self-care, developing new daily living and life skills and supporting clients as their needs change.
Barkuma provide support to hundreds of people across South Australia, offering a number of services to people with disability such as;