Session 1 – September 15, 2021

This is the first session of the My Home, My Way workshop. On this page you'll find a recording of the workshop session and the resources mentioned during the workshop.

My Home My Way logoThank you for attending the first session of the My Home, My Way workshop. It was wonderful to see so many of you in the room. Your contributions to the conversation were very much appreciated.

If you have any questions about the workshop series, please don’t hesitate to contact Gayle

In this session, we explored how

  • Any person with a disability can create and live in their own home
  • Building a vision, planning and believing it is possible is crucial to success
  • It can help to imagine what is possible and learn from others
  • Visioning is important across a lifetime

Greg Mahony joined us to talk about his son Sam’s journey to having his own home. Greg was kind enough to send us the answer to a participant question: you’ll find this towards the bottom of this page.

Download a copy of the slides here (PDF, 3MB)

Please note that the replay has been edited to remove breaks and participant conversation at the end of the workshop.

Resources mentioned in the workshop

Book by Anita O’Brien – Because it’s Better… to live my life within community

Because it’s Better is a small powerful story told by Anita O’Brien about how their family have supported her son Warren to live his life in community. A story of listening to their son and being brave enough to change direction, this book is rich with practical details of how Warren, with assistance, has achieved his own home, jobs and a sense of belonging. Through the book, Anita also weaves the story of her faith and church membership which are clearly her guiding force.

This book is available from

Clarity of Vision – Presentation by Wendy Stroeve


Thank you for contributing your responses to our questions in the workshop chat. Your responses are shown in the images below.

Question 1: What makes a good home for you?

Answers to the question, what makes a good home for you?

Question 2: What are common disability-specific responses to home?

Answers to the question, what are common disability responses?

Question 3: What are some of your fears, barriers, resistances?

Answer to the question, what are some of your fears, barriers, resistances?


Greg Mahony Q&A

What rental subsidies did you say Sam received?

The only rental subsidy that Sam receives is the Commonwealth Rental Assistance (CRA) of about $140 a fortnight.

We needed to negotiate with the Provider who treats Sam’s accommodation/rent on the same terms as they would any social housing renter in the ACT.

The formula is Rent = 30% of DSP (Disability Support Pension) + CRA. So for example with a $500pw rental property the participant might pay $200pw (using the formula) leaving $300 for the Provider for which they get the use of a bedroom as a sleepover room plus storage of equipment, medication etc. We never use the term `office’ that is used in group homes. The provider also has the right to operate `their business activity’ of deploying staff to support Sam, on the property which I believe has a market/financial value to them along with the right to park their cars on the property in safety. A participant needs to negotiate the best they can re the split of utility bills. Nothing comes directly from Sam’s NDIS Plan in any of these costs. How the Providers cover their costs is entirely a business decision of theirs.

There is no template for any of this and if people do ask the NDIS they will only get strange looks I expect.

If a house has another bedroom that can be made available to a student or a single working person paying rent or with the expectation of some limited support hours for hours in lieu of rent. Or that person might agree to another paid role (up to the value of rent) such as gardening, music or sports mentor, or just a sometime companion.

The lease, the bond and all utilities are in Sam’s name so he has the security of tenure in event of a change of Providers. He accumulates a solid rental history which for a young man on a low income is usually a challenge.  I help Sam with the gardening, cover minor maintenance and any requests to the landlord.

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