More support needed for Dunolly units project

Since prioritising plans to establish independent living units in Dunolly last year, the Dunolly District Hospital Auxiliary have taken some big steps forward, however progress has come to a standstill.

With the Maryborough District Health Service (MDHS) offering to make land available at the Dunolly Hospital and funding a feasibility report for the units, the project was one step closer to becoming a reality.

“Independent living units are for people who fall between the cracks of current housing policy — they have too many assets to be eligible for public housing but insufficient assets to be able to buy into private aged care or not for profit aged care facilities,” Dunolly District Hospital Auxiliary president Fiona Lindsay said.

“We’re targeting people who maybe own their own homes but their resale value wouldn’t be sufficient to purchase something like an independent living unit at a private complex.”

The feasibility report, commissioned by the Dunolly District Hospital Auxiliary, states that between 16 and 18 independent living units could be housed comfortably on the site MDHS have offered to make available.

According to the report, the median age for people living in Dunolly and surrounds is some 18 years higher than the state average (37 years), and the price for properties sold in Dunolly between

January 2016 and June 2018 is just over $180,000, some $160,000 less than the state average for rural Victoria in 2017.

Ms Lindsay said there are a number of hoops that need to be jumped through before the project can advance.

“We’re trying to get some ministerial support, not just for our project but the concept of independent living units in rural communities,” she said.

For more on this story see Page 4 of The Advertiser, Tuesday, February 12

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