Building a new, inclusive accommodation model

In 2014 Achieve undertook the devolution and closure of Crowle Home to improve the quality of life for residents. Achieve Australia developed a plan for the land that would enable them to provide better support to more people with disability, at limited cost to the government.

The redevelopment involved negotiations with multiple levels of government and stakeholders – including the local community and families of people who had lived in Crowle Home for almost their entire lives.

Achieve partnered with commercial developer DeiCorp, who committed to creating an inclusive and accessible property. This involved design of accessible units, redesigning public art installations to allow greater accessibility and creating additional disability parking.

One of the historical buildings from Crowle Estate.
Residents celebrating Christmas at Crowle Estate
Students studying at the original Crowle Estate.
Playing cricket at the original Crowle Estate.
The Crowle Estate at Meadowbank.

Moving away from the
Large Residential Centre (LRC) model

Crowle Estate was built on the site of the former Crowle Home – a Large Residential Centre (LRC) that housed nearly 50 people with disability. The LRC model created forced routines and regimens such as communal eating times, segregated male and female living, and limited privacy. The entire facility was located within fenced and gated grounds with limited integration with the surrounding residential neighbourhoods.

The Home had reached the point where it no longer met the principles of the UN Convention on the Rights of Persons with Disability or the NSW Disability Act 1993.

Achieve’s objective was to support residents of the LRC to move out into community housing without government funding.

A street view of the Crowle Estate at Meadowbank.

In The Press

Life is sweet in a new home with a view.

A sun-filled, spacious apartment with a generous balcony overlooking a park is the dream of many Sydneysiders.

The realisation of that dream is especially poignant for Ross Madden and Lola Constance, who moved into their new apartment eight months ago at the Crowle Estate residential development in Ryde.

Read the full article >>

The Transition

From the very beginning of the process, Achieve took a structured approach to communication, obtaining family input to ensure individual wants and needs were identified and met. We ensured consistent communication was maintained and input was sought from the families of the people we support throughout the entire transition.

Looking across the Crowle Estate at Meadowbank.

Positive Outcomes

Crowle Estate pioneered the distribution of accessible apartments throughout the community, encouraging social inclusion.

It was the first medium density development in NSW to achieve the Livable Housing Australia Platinum Certification. It was also recognised in 2015 by the Australasian Housing Institute with a Highly Commended Award for innovation.

Residents who lived at Crowle Home before the development returned to the site, but this time to live in brand-new, purpose-built apartments. The estate enriches the lives of residents through proximity to local community and services, easy access to public transport and its inclusive community atmosphere.

The size of the Estate meant Achieve could support residents from existing rented group homes wholly-owned, higher quality, Platinum Standard community homes.

Through this project, Achieve demonstrated that disability service providers can deliver innovative housing options to people with disability at no additional cost to the government, reducing strain on social housing.

Residents enjoy the new Crowle Estate.
Residents enjoy the new Crowle Estate.
Residents enjoy the new Crowle Estate.
Residents enjoy the new Crowle Estate.

Innovative Technology

Crowle Estate’s apartments include assistive technologies designed to support the dignity, safety and independence of tenants:

  • Seizure mats on beds which can detect if seizures occur during sleep, and communicate with onsite support centre.
  • Sensors which recognise tenants’ movements and use of electronic devices in case of medical or domestic emergencies.
  • Sensor lighting for way-finding and safety.
  • Remote controlled temperature adjustment.
  • Emergency alarms which allow tenants to quickly contact the onsite support centre.
  • Push-button, handset-free communications for direct contact between tenants and the support centre.