1800 Cootharinga

"Building a better world with people of all abilities!"

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Accessible Housing

Martin Locke Homes Logo NRSCH Registered Provider

Working with partners to increase the stock of quality accessible housing

It is very difficult for anyone to be independent, contribute to community life and obtain and keep work if you do not firstly have a roof over your head to be able to meet your basic needs. Living with a disability also makes this a huge challenge.

The introduction of the National Disability Insurance Scheme (NDIS) means that more people with disability will have access to vital supports however the NDIS does not at this stage provide funds for housing. More than 3,000 people in North Queensland will be faced with the fact that there is no provision for accessible housing for people with disability.

Cootharinga is committed to solving the critical issue of lack of appropriate housing for people with disability and will be focusing our fundraising efforts in this direction. We are proud to be a truly local organisation, operating across North Queensland for over 65 years, providing supports in Cairns, Townsville, Mackay, Mount Isa, Mornington Island and regions in between. All funds we raise remain in our local community, which is a great thing.

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Welcome to our home!

Take a virtual tour of our latest housing development

Proudly built by Martin Lock Homes in partnership with Cootharinga North Queensland.

Recent News

Accessible Housing - Northshore

9th March 2016
Disability Services Minister turns the first sod at our latest development

The Honourable Coralee O’Rourke, Minister for Disability Services, Minister for Seniors and Minister Assisting the Premier on North Queensland today turned the sod at a Cootharinga owned, Belgian Gardens piece of land.

The Government has committed $861,000 for the build of a new purpose built, accessible house which will be built by Martin Locke Homes. This property will include two houses, which will support four individuals.

Accessible Housing - Northshore

1st October 2014
Martin Locke Homes wins at recently held Master Builders North Qld Housing & Construction Awards

Martin Locke Homes, a long term partner of Cootharinga, recently won the “Lifestyle Housing for Seniors” award at the Master Builders North Queensland Housing and Construction Awards for two homes, purposely built for Cootharinga North Queensland.

To quote the Master Builders Townsville Bulletin feature, "Although the project is not for seniors, its special design for people with disabilities stays true to the spirit of this important award category." This award winning property has been built to Liveable Housing Design Guidelines which include features such as having no steps in the house or entrance.

"Cootharinga are a fantastic organisation," Martin said, "I have been (building) with them for a number of years. They employ a couple of hundred people, are mostly government-funded and support the disability sector."

The homes which are located in North Shore were designed by architect Ken Tippett and are used to accommodate people supported by Cootharinga and their 24/7 Carers.

Congratulations to Martin and his team, we are thrilled with your success and look forward to many projects together in the future.

Accessible Housing - Lounge

1st March 2013
Cootharinga's Housing Project builds a better world!

The project has been called “My Smarter, Greener, Accessible home”.

A new world is about to open up for 4 individuals living with a disability in North Queensland.

With funding from the Supported Accommodation Innovation Fund, a unique, purpose built and architecturally designed home will be officially opened by Senator, The Honourable Jan McLucas on Tuesday 9 April 2013.

Cootharinga was gifted $840,450 to complete this new housing and out of 27 other projects around Australia, it will be the first project in Australia to be completed!!!!!!

Brendan Walsh, the CEO of Cootharinga said, “it was a bold project involving potential residents and their families from the earliest concept design’”

The project has been called “My Smarter, Greener, Accessible home”.

“The ‘my’ in the project refers to the fact that residents have been involved in decisions such as choice of decor, “ Brendan explained.

“The project is smarter through cutting edge technology, such as NBN connections, delivering residents greater independence; greener with each building generating electricity, harvesting rainwater and maintaining wheelchair accessible garden beds and a chook pen; and accessible, as this is the first housing project tob e built that is Platinum level certified, as outlines in the Livable Housing Design Guidelines.”

LHA’s Livable Housing Design Guidelines outline 16 design elements that contribute to a livable dwelling. All 16 elements are required in order to achieve Platinum level accreditation.

“We congratulate Cootharinga for its leadership in delivering australia’s first completed project with Platinum certification – a seal of approval that attests to enhanced livability,” said acting Executive Director of Livable Housing Australia, Andrew Aitken.

Cootharinga will be presented with a plaque from Livable Housing Australia at the official opening.

“The community support experienced with this project was fantastic and fully reflects Cootharinga’s vision of ‘building a better world with people of all abilities,’ Brendan Walsh concluded.

Cootharinga would also like to sincerely thank Ken Tippett Architect and Martin Locke Homes for the professional and generous support with this project.

Casa Martinez Historic Housing - Northshore Historic Housing

22nd June 1957
The official opening of the Cootharinga Home for Crippled Children

Cootharinga was founded in 1951 in response to community concerns for the care, education and training of children who contracted poliomyelitis during the poliomyelitis epidemic. Cootharinga was originally called the North Queensland Society for Crippled Children.

The official opening of the Cootharinga Home for Crippled Children on 22 June, 1957 was the fulfilment of more than six years of volunteering and hard work since Cootharinga had been established.

The Nursing home was located at the base of Mt Cootharinga, now known as Castle Hill. After a public competition, the children’s nursing home was named 'Cootharinga'.

In 1991, the North Queensland Society for Crippled Children changed its name to Cootharinga Society of North Queensland, with the focus going from disability to ability and from institutionalised settings to community based environments.

Today it is known as Cootharinga North Queensland - Ability First!

"Architecturally designed, accessible homes built to the highest Liveable Housing Design guidelines”