Ballarat residents living with mental illness will have access to new supported independent living homes under a state government plan announced on Tuesday.
Sixteen one-bedroom flats will be constructed in La Trobe Street, Redan as part of a $21.1 million project to build 62 supported independent living homes across regional Victoria, $5.8 million of which will be spent in Ballarat.
The homes are being delivered in partnership with the Haven Foundation, with Mind Australia to provide the supported independent living services.
Each of the 16 one-bedroom homes will include self-contained kitchen, bathroom and laundry facilities and a private courtyard or balcony, providing stable accommodation for those who need support to live independently.
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Mind Australia chief executive Gill Callister said the homes provided an ideal mix of independence and support.
"The way they work is people have completely self-contained independent apartments on a large block but with 24/7 support on-site so that they have really what we consider to be an ideal mix of independence, as well as support in managing their recovery and their lives living with often quite severe and sometimes quite debilitating mental illness," she said.
"The more independent people are, the more it helps improve their recovery because they get support to build their skills to look after themselves, so to do their own cooking, manage their appointments and their schedule, manage the activities of daily living, pay their rent, do their budgeting.
"We find that with support to learn those skills and be able to do them, that helps people's recovery. It means that they are far less likely to end up back in hospital as a result of their mental illness."
Potential residents will need to be on the Victorian Housing Register and be eligible for an NDIS supported living package.
Homes will also be built in Seymour, Drouin and Bendigo as part of the project in addition to 100 that were already announced to be built across the state.
Member for Wendouree Juliana Addison said the project would generate 57 local jobs during construction.
"What we've said with the Royal Commission into Mental Health is that we know the issue of secure and stable accommodation is very important for people living with mental health issues and this is a very, very good start," she said.
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