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BaptistCare opens housing site at Coraki

BaptistCare has welcomed the first residents of a new temporary housing site at Coraki in the Northern Rivers.

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24 October 2022

News | Community Housing

BaptistCare has welcomed the first residents of a new temporary housing site at Coraki in the Northern Rivers, offering a safe, secure home for up to 240 people who experienced months of uncertainty after devastating floods in the region earlier this year.

The housing is located directly next to BaptistCare's aged care home Mid Richmond Centre and has been delivered in partnership with the NSW Government and Resilience NSW.

BaptistCare's General Manager of Community Services, Robyn Evans, visited the Coraki site on October 21 with the Minister for Emergency Services and Resilience and Flood Recovery, Steph Cooke.

"BaptistCare has been present in this community for almost 20 years, and we are as much neighbours as we are service providers. It seemed only fitting that we would become formal providers of support to help this community, our community, recover. With local knowledge and a great team of people, we are very much looking forward to coming alongside tenants and the community," said Ms Evans.

Minister Cooke said the keys to the 56 housing units at Coraki unlock more than a physical structure.

"They are a safe and self-sufficient space for residents to live while they undertake the personal journey of rebuilding and deciding what's best for their future. This village has been designed to provide displaced locals with accommodation as close as possible to their home community, with community housing provider BaptistCare providing all the necessary services residents need."

"This program has never been done before, particularly not on this scale with the wrap around services of people like BaptistCare able to support our communities day in, day out."

Ms Evans said BaptistCare is acutely aware it's been a tough seven months for residents of Coraki and the wider region.

"We understand through listening and speaking with many people just how difficult it has been with the trauma of multiple flooding events, and even now as we are surrounded by challenging weather."

"BaptistCare’s team of six will support tenants over the next two years, and hopefully beyond if we can, through casework support and capacity building.”

This will include helping tenants with budgeting skills, accessing grants, linking to other services, and connecting to education or employment support. BaptistCare will also assist those rebuilding their homes to navigate this process and help other tenants prepare for the next steps of their housing journey.

“We will continue to provide hope where we can and provide support and care to all people,” says Ms Evans.

CEO Charles Moore says it's BaptistCare's 13th housing location to be operated by the organisation's Community Services and Housing team.

"I want to thank the teams of people across BaptistCare who have worked hard to make this opportunity come together at pace. Thank you for the part you have played in having us ready to operate this housing site in a very tight time frame. I look forward to bringing you further updates in due course and would appreciate your ongoing prayers and support of the team, as well as our staff, residents, and clients across the Northern Rivers, as their recovery continues."

Mr Moore says it's an honour for BaptistCare to help staff, customers, their families, and the wider Northern Rivers community.

“Coming alongside to assist those who have had significant hardship is very much part of our purpose and vision, and this temporary housing opportunity is a part of helping people in the Northern Rivers on their road to recovery. It is a privilege for us to partner with them to help in this rebuilding phase of their lives.”