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First sod turned for a second time at historic BaptistCare site

Once complete, this housing will see BaptistCare own and operate more than 650 community housing residences over 13 locations

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Sixty-eight years after the completion of its very first home for elderly women, leading not for profit organisation, BaptistCare, witnessed a second “turning of the first sod” today at the organisation’s Carlingford birthplace.

Construction will shortly commence on the community housing provider’s historic site, with its largest community housing development of 162 much-needed social and affordable units for seniors and single-parent families.

BaptistCare Chief Executive Officer, Charles Moore, was joined by Minister for Families, Communities and Disability Services Gareth Ward to celebrate the commencement of the project.

“We originally purchased the six-acre parcel of land here for £2000 in 1948, and in 1953 built a home to support elderly women in the immediate post-war period,” said Mr Moore.

“Yallambi was home to many older Australians up until 2017 when we relocated residents to our newly-built The Gracewood Centre in Kellyville in preparation for this new era of housing.”

“Now in 2021 we are constructing homes for people who would otherwise experience a lack of access to safe and secure affordable housing and even homelessness,” he said.

“These units will complete the 500 units we are building in partnership with the NSW Government. This partnership demonstrates that with the right mix of funding, community housing providers like BaptistCare can go beyond building the vital bricks and mortar and also deliver life-transforming support. The Government can be assured that we’re here for the long run and committed to the provision of safe and affordable housing for people who need it.”

“What we need now is recurrent funding and commitment from Government – both State and Federal. It’s a simple equation – the funding we have available simply will not do enough to fill the shortfall when it comes to social and affordable housing in this country,” said Mr Moore.

In the City of Parramatta, 24%, or one in four households in the private rental market are currently in rental housing stress, while almost 2,000 people are waiting for social housing in the region.

Once complete, the housing at Carlingford will see BaptistCare owning and operating more than 650 community housing residences over 13 locations across NSW.

The Carlingford housing design involves three 4-storey unit blocks with an underground car park and a central courtyard for tenants to enjoy. More than 60% of the housing will be dedicated to seniors.

The development will also see BaptistCare providing traffic lights and a pedestrian crossing at the intersection of Baker St and Pennant Hills Rd to improve road and pedestrian safety.  

BaptistCare’s community housing model is more than just a roof over a head, as BaptistCare General Manager for Housing, Rob Ellis, explains.

“Our housing model includes an onsite team who come alongside tenants and offer wrap-around support and services that foster wellbeing and independence. Having a secure place to call home is vital, but we are also creating communities in our housing sites and encouraging friendships and support networks for the people who live there,” said Mr Ellis.

BaptistCare is a leading not for profit Christian care provider that has been serving the aged and people living with disadvantage for more than 75 years. The organisation is a registered community housing provider.

You can hear more about our housing development in Carlingford on this Channel 7 news broadcast.