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BaptistCare’s largest housing development unveiled

BaptistCare’s largest social and affordable housing development was officially opened this week by Minister for Housing and Homelessness, the Hon Rose Jackson MLC, on the site of the organisation’s birthplace in Carlingford.

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20 July 2023

News | Community Housing, BaptistCare

BaptistCare’s largest social and affordable housing development was officially opened this week by Minister for Housing and Homelessness, the Hon Rose Jackson MLC, on the site of the organisation’s birthplace.

The new housing location, BaptistCare Gimbawali Place in Carlingford, will offer high-quality apartments and wrap-around support to seniors and single-parent families, providing much-needed housing as Australia battles an ongoing housing crisis.

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Held 72 years after the opening of BaptistCare’s first home for elderly ladies, Yallambi, just under 60 guests gathered on the organisation’s historic site to open the new community housing location.

Anne Low, BaptistCare member and wife of the late Ross Low, former BaptistCare CEO, was at the opening of Yallambi in 1951 and cut the ribbon alongside dignitaries.

Guests heard from tenant Ms Arezo Younes, a single mother and carer for her mother, about her experience in the private housing market, increasing rent and the struggle to find employment in the fields she is trained in.

"I was struggling financially as I was facing a lot of hardship. My rent kept increasing every year; I receive no child support and living in Sydney has gotten more expensive. Everything has increased, except the support I have access to."

"I've really struggled to find part-time work so I can also be able to take care of my son," she said.

"This housing is the best thing that has ever happened to me as a single mum. I feel like a burden is off my shoulders since moving into BaptistCare. I no longer struggle mentally or financially, and I can go on and focus on my goals and dreams that I have."

Charles Moore, CEO of BaptistCare, shared that Gimbawali Place’s 162 apartments are the final of 500 homes BaptistCare has developed in partnership with the NSW Government through the Social and Affordable Housing Fund.

“We have no further developments in our pipeline outside of this program."

"This is a huge problem. To date, none of the existing programs or initiatives BaptistCare has accessed provide an ongoing opportunity for housing providers to deliver and manage housing that is sustainable long-term."

Mr Moore revealed that a recent social return on investment study by BaptistCare found that the organisation generates an estimated $10.2 million in government service cost savings and $2.4 million in employment opportunities for tenants annually.

“The data tells us that an investment in social and affordable housing is an investment in a stronger community and economy,” explained Mr Moore.

“Today it is wonderful to see our tenants moving into this fantastic development in Carlingford, but it is also bittersweet as we are reminded of the challenges ahead and that there are still so many people in our communities struggling to keep a roof over their head.”

BaptistCare’s onsite team at Gimbawali Place will support tenants to increase independence and wellbeing through access to a suite of support services such as counselling, group programs and chaplains, no interest loans, and aged care services where relevant.

The housing development features 162 one, two and three-bedroom apartments, a children’s playground, underground parking, shared spaces including a community centre and a rooftop area, native landscaping, and several sustainable building initiatives to ensure tenants’ utility bills are reduced.

Apartments are independently certified to the Livable Housing Australia Guidelines Silver standard, ensuring that the homes are accessible for tenants.

The housing was completed in June with construction partner, Lendlease, with tenants moving in later that same month.

Caption - Mrs Anne Low (BaptistCare Member), Minister Rose Jackson MLC, Ms Arezo Younes (Tenant), and Robert Dunn (BaptistCare Chair) cut the official opening ribbon.