A new micro-unit development in St Marys providing affordable housing for single older women was officially opened on Wednesday 28 October at 9:45am by the Hon Shayne Mallard MLC.
The 16-unit development will provide much-needed accommodation for women over 45 who are eligible for social housing. The $4.4 million project is a partnership between Wentworth and the New South Wales Government, who have contributed a $3 million upfront capital grant.
“We congratulate the NSW Government for supporting this project and enabling us to develop housing for older women. These homes have been extremely well designed to make effective use of the space and provide an affordable and well-located alternative for single older women in the Nepean region,” said CEO of Wentworth, Stephen McIntyre.
With older single women being the fastest growing group of people experiencing homelessness, this development comes at a critical time to provide homes for women who are struggling to find suitable accommodation in the private rental market.
The Equity Economics report A Wave of Disadvantage Across NSW: Impact of COVID-19, released last week, provides further evidence that women in NSW will be at greatest risk of housing stress and in high need of social and affordable housing as the impacts of COVID-19 deepen in early 2021.
This research has found that women are the majority of the projected 360,000 people in NSW to be unemployed by July 2021 and that increases in domestic violence are the single biggest cause of homelessness for women.
“Single older women are one of the most vulnerable groups in the housing system in Australia. Wentworth is organising a two-year community building program to make sure that the women living in the complex get the support that they need to get their lives back on track,” Stephen McIntyre added.
“We know from our work in Western Sydney that secure, appropriate and affordable housing can turn lives around.”
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