National community housing provider Community Housing Limited (CHL) has successfully tenanted twenty four affordable homes in Geraldton as part of the Nation Building Stimulus Program. This also includes a six unit development all with two bedrooms and one bathroom, in the Western Australian coastal town of Dongara – 80km south of Geraldton.
The development was designed for tenants aged 55 years and older, and regardless of who you speak to in the complex, they all say the same thing: the new apartments support a real sense of community, and they know their neighbours can be relied on to give a hand or check on them if you’re not well, or are simply on-hand for a friendly hello and a quick chat.
Further, pets being allowed in the complex has given the feel of a relaxed village lifestyle, supported by a not-for-profit landlord that is responsive to tenant requests in regard to any building or maintenance issues.
Kathryn O’Callaghan was previously in a private rental property living closer to her daughter and grandchildren, and that property was costing her significantly more than her new CHL apartment.
“It’s an ideal situation. I am paying an affordable level of rent, and am now in a position to help my daughter by caring for my youngest grandson Matthew. He attends the local kindergarten and I can pick him up at the end of his day there, which means my daughter is able to work full time, so everyone is better off and feeling a lot less stress,” says Kathryn.
Barrie and Dorothy Brierley have been retired and living in an old asbestos unit in Dongara for several years. Barrie and Dorothy had been awaiting for a transfer to an updated home as their health issues were being compounded by the living conditions, which were poor.
Their new CHL unit has been a revelation, and nicest home they have lived in for “several decades”. The couple have two dogs which they take on walks to the beaches and shops which are only a short distance away. As a consequence, their general health has improved.
“We have found that the financial ease of living in a CHL property makes us not only better off financially, but we therefore benefit from less emotional stress and really enjoy the security and low maintenance of the property. This whole experience has been a godsend, and has made Dorothy and me feel far more secure and settled in our retirement,” says Barrie.
Denis Headland is a long time local to Dongara, and enjoys fishing and boating. With its close proximity to the ocean, Denis feels his new apartment is a perfect fit with his lifestyle allowing him more time to do the things he loves. Prior to becoming a CHL tenant, Denis was struggling in private rental and for years had been on the public housing waiting list.
Denis’ new living situation is more affordable financially and has allowed him a significantly greater sense of security. Denis says CHL are good landlords and the development is very community-oriented, with good neighbours that they all look out for each other.
“I love the community feel, and I have been more than happy to help other tenants with their gardening and so on – it’s just great being part of the community of Dongara. I have been allowed to add a water feature in my backyard which has created a very peaceful atmosphere to an already quiet neighbourhood,”says Denis.
CHL’s Managing Director Steve Bevington says these tenant stories are typical of the CHL tenant experience across the country – a greater sense of personal and financial security, participation in the community, and easy access to public transport and local shops.
“We have always found the key is to enter these developments led by a community interest group that knows the local issues and understands what the community needs. It is an honour for us to be able to provide Dongara and the north-west coast of WA with a long term housing resource for individuals and families on low incomes,” he says.
Community Housing Limited (CHL) is a national and international provider of affordable housing. Its mission is ‘to provide affordable and sustainable housing for all’. CHL is a registered Housing organisation in Victoria and an approved growth provider in NSW, Tasmania, WA and SA. Its international operations are located in Timor Leste, Chile, and most recently India.
CHL provides an end-to-end integrated operation that manages the entire housing lifecycle. This includes securing funding, locating suitable land, project managing, designing and constructing, then managing the tenancy for the long term that includes collecting rents and maintaining the property.
For more information on CHL, contact:
Coordinator – Marketing and Communications
t 03 9856 0021 m 0430 555 241