Disused aged care facility offers solution for homeless women

A disused aged care facility in Sydney’s north-west is being repurposed to provide safe housing for older women in an innovative community housing initiative.

The project had its roots in 2018 when Twilight Aged Care approached Women’s Community Shelters (WCS) with an offer to use their vacant Beecroft property rent-free as transitional housing for two years.

WCS swung into action with a full analysis, an exploration of partnerships – including community housing provider Link Housing – and the development of a service model.

The facility has now been transformed into safe and secure accommodation for 20 women, who will be able to live there for two years while they find permanent housing.

The new residents will include 12-14 women from the NSW Social Housing waitlist and 6-8 from from the WCS network.

It’s now hoped the model will offer a blueprint for other housing providers that might be looking for creative solutions to Sydney’s housing and homelessness crisis.

Beecroft House will provide housing for 20 vulnerable women.

Women over 55 at high risk of homelessness

Women’s Community Shelters CEO Annabelle Daniel says women over 55 are one of the most at risk groups for homelessness in Australia.

She says making use of empty or under-utilised properties which have been ‘hiding in plain sight’ is one way of responding to the problem.

“We’ve known for over a decade that older women are becoming homeless at increasing rates. This partnership represents definitive action to do something to help solve the problem,” she said.

“We are delighted to be partnering with so many others to bring Beecroft House to life, and to be providing at least two years accommodation with guaranteed housing pathways for every woman who lives there.”

The properties and tenancies will be organised by community housing provider Link Housing, which continues to explore options to increase housing.

“The use of properties is just one model that we know can work. We hope that the successful establishment of Beecroft House will encourage others to come forward to create and be part of these innovative housing solutions,” Link Housing CEO Andrew McAnulty said.

WCS currently has six shelters for vulnerable women in Manly, Hornsby, Great Lakes, the Hills, Penrith and Botany. Link Housing manages close to 4,000 homes accommodating about 6,000 people across Sydney.

Beecroft House will be officially launched during National Homelessess Week this week.

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9 thoughts on “Disused aged care facility offers solution for homeless women

  1. And it is furnished by beautiful used furniture and electricals gathered, collated and delivered by a new organisation changing the way we look at material aid so that survivors may begin to thrive and caseworkers may attend to other important support with the time and money they save not hunting down a few important items.
    Beecroft House will have 5 star hotel designer furniture from refurbishment projects in the city, returns from retailers, and donations from kind individuals. Combine that with the care of our volunteers and we hope the women of Beecroft House will feel supported and most worthy of beautiful things and kindness at an important time.

  2. Wonderful. Congratulations!!! As someone who has a passion to create affordable housing for women over 50, this story is inspiring. Without a safe and affordable place to call home, people live in “survival mode”.

  3. This is such a wonderful idea. I hope that all states would find a way to implement this living for our vulnerable women.

    1. I’ve been classed as homeless here in QLD not at least nearly 20 yrs.. Was on govt housing list for 16 of those years.. Even when in hospital after 10yrs …life threatening illness… And DRS and Specialists writing letters of support to house me closer to DRS and G Coast hospitals. Got no reply and NO Housing….

  4. I think this is a wonderful idea that you are giving homeless women a place to live and grow. I hope that you will eventually expand to other places and be successful. I live in batemans bay and maybe one day you may have houses here. I wish you all the very best. Judith ray.

  5. Following the changes in divorce laws the rate of women being on their own has multiplied and these women are now getting to the retirement age group without owning a home so with the high rate of unemployment in the over 50 yo s means there is going to be a serious problem of housing these women together with the normal number of those escaping domestic violence.as the Coalition Governments don’t appear to be interested in building homes for the disadvantaged they should make spare public land available to community groups and guarantees funds so that these homes can be built to avoid a hardship

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