Amicus subdivides, sells former Cecil Street site in North Bendigo to raise funds for housing for people with disability

LAND formerly home to a Bendigo community service provider will be used to create affordable and accessible housing for people with disabilities.

Amicus has subdivided its Cecil Street site into 26 lots, all but three of which are on the market. 

“All proceeds from the land sales will be used to build housing for people with a disability, to assist with the critical unmet need we are facing,” chief executive officer, Ann-Maree Davis, said.

The not-for-profit organisation expects the sale of the Market Gardens Estate lots, in North Bendigo, to fund construction of three fully accessible two-bedroom units.

A bequest of almost $300,000 from the estate of the late Gordon Alexander Webster will enable Amicus to build a fourth unit.

‘We are eternally grateful to Gordon Webster for his generous contribution,” Ms Davis said.

“We are pleased that we have been able to honor him in a lasting way, with a street in the subdivision, Webdon Drive, named after him.”

Cathy Gaskell and Shayne Scott of Amicus at the organisation's former Cecil Street site, which has been subdivided for residential land sale. Picture: EMMA D'AGOSTINO

Cathy Gaskell and Shayne Scott of Amicus at the organisation's former Cecil Street site, which has been subdivided for residential land sale. Picture: EMMA D'AGOSTINO

She said the availability of accessible and affordable housing for people with a disability was at crisis point in the Bendigo community.

“There are a large number of carers in our community who are in their 80s and 90s who are still caring for their adult family members with a disability due to a lack of appropriate housing options,” Ms Davis said.

Carers in the Mount Alexander Shire and Bendigo area have taken it upon themselves to create solutions to the issue.

Many of the members of both groups are carers, motivated by concern for the future of their loved ones.

The Quality Living Options Bendigo has proposed a number of units for people with disability be built at Marong, along with a central hub.

Units would vary from two bedroom to five bedroom dwellings.

The Mount Alexander Shire Accommodation and Respite Group has a similar project, called A Home of My Own, planned for Castlemaine.

Ms Davis said the projects reflected the need for housing in the region, which would be helped by the initiatives, but far from sated.

More than 100 people with a disability were in immediate need of specialist disability housing in the Bendigo area in Feb 2016, 38 of which had aging carers.

Rental Affordability Index data suggests Bendigo is an unaffordable place to live for single pensioners, single people on Centrelink and single parents working part-time.

Amicus relocated from Cecil Street to its premises at 100 Queen Street, Bendigo, in 2014.