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Not for profit community housing provider, BaptistCare has opened 79 social and affordable apartments for seniors at its redeveloped community housing site in Sydney’s inner west.
The brand new one and two-bedroom apartments at BaptistCare Kitty Doyle Apartments provide much-needed housing for seniors on low incomes as part of the NSW Government’s Social and Affordable Housing Fund (SAHF) project.
Originally housing 32 bedsit units, the former Kitty Doyle site at Five Dock was transformed with Lendlease into two modern buildings featuring lift access, a BBQ and garden area and community centre. Ground floor apartments feature garden views, while the second and third-floor apartments enjoy views across to Sydney city or Canada Bay.
Tenants have access to a housing manager and a suite of support services to enhance their independence and wellbeing.
Lorna, 86, first moved into BaptistCare’s Kitty Doyle housing in 1994. She was 75 when she found herself looking for a home to rent with no savings and only a pension.
Lorna had been staying with a family member in the Inner West, but this was no longer tenable and Lorna knew it time to move on.
“I never really thought I’d be homeless. I’m a survivor, I always knew I had the confidence to sort it out. I had a bit of time to find what I needed.”
“It was raining, it was a Wednesday. I thought I’d go down to Balmain and have a look around there. It was completely out of my reach, so I got the bus back up Victoria to Drummoyne. I was ringing wet,” she recalls.
Lorna made her way into Five Dock on foot and found herself in a real estate office. Fifteen years later, Lorna still carries with her the agent’s business card, with a second handwritten phone number on the reverse.
The agent, brief and busy, heard Lorna’s story and told her to retell that same story to another lady, and passed on the phone number. “Ring her at 5pm and tell her what you’ve told me. Don’t talk too long, she’s very busy.”
Lorna was asked to be at BaptistCare’s Kitty Doyle housing complex for seniors on Kings Road in Five Dock that Friday at 8am where she was offered a unit by BaptistCare and helped with the provision of furniture, including a bed. The rest is history.
This month Lorna picked up the keys to her brand new apartment and has just moved back in.
“It’s beautiful here. I’m very grateful. I’ve got the poshest house in Five Dock. I’m being looked after by a group of people who are so kind, good and prepared to listen. I can’t speak highly enough of BaptistCare.”