Abbeyfield Australia Bayside Branch (AABB) is a sub-committee of Inner South Family and Friends (ISFAF). ISFAF commenced in 1991 to provide mutual support to individuals who are caring for a loved one suffering from mental health issues. The ISFAF committee came to realise that many in the mental health community lack safe affordable accommodation, which is the first step to taking up a dignified place in society. Lack of housing is a barrier to discharge from hospital and to an individual’s rightful place in society. The Alfred Hospital Psychiatric Unit currently found that 25% of the patients in the inpatient unit had no fixed address.
ISFAF Housing Options Group was delighted to join Abbeyfield Australia because the Abbeyfield model lends itself to providing safety, affordability and dignity to those suffering from a psycho-social disability. Since becoming a branch of Abbeyfield, we have also forged a working relationship with Port Phillip Housing Association in the hope that together we will be able to establish warm, safe, dignified affordable assisted semi-independent living for individuals in our region suffering from psycho-social disabilities.
The National Disability Insurance Scheme (NDIS) currently being rolled out across Australia may provide additional help to AABB, but currently the uncertainty relating the features of the NDIS has slowed down our progress. We wish to comply with the NDIS in order for our residents to make best use of it, but to date, the fine print regarding the compliance regulations are not fully clear. Although this has slowed our progress in establishing an Abbeyfield facility, we look to clarification from the National Disability Association in the near future.
In the meantime, we seek funding from philanthropics, so that as soon as the terms of the NDIS become clear, we can establish ourselves on the ground.
 Alfred Hospital Housing References Group: Minutes of Meeting of 5 August, 2016