Most of the institutions, in Victoria, for people with an intellectual or multiple disability, were closed in the mid-1990s. Many of the residents went to live in six bedroom, DHS custom built, houses in the general community. One such house was built on a "corner-alcove" site, in a modern, narrow road, area.
The Department of Human Services failed to consider the "corner-alcove, precinct-style" area in which the house was built, left the house with no on-street parking what-so-ever. A small nature strip, and the gardens of other houses abutted the narrow driveway from the road. The only official parking, was a small area inside the property.
For years, staff, families and visitors manoeuvred their cars and the house bus, around this difficult area.
When a new resident arrived, the parents of this resident said, "The situation is ridiculous!” They observed there was enough nature strip to make in-dented parking bays. The local council agreed, and drew-up plans. A senior DHS manager, however, objected on the grounds that cars parked there, would set the house apart - would highlight it as a group home.
Finally, after more than five years of haggling, lobbying and a wet-weather quagmire, the council put in a simple hard-standing, large enough for 3 – 4 vehicles.
Staff no longer have to spend time manoeuvring vehicles, rather than what is intended – providing quality care for the residents.
"Crazy, mindless, captive market, power-game bureaucrats!"