There are approximately 50,000 people currently on the waiting list for social housing across the state of Victoria. The long-term housing crisis and shortfall in social and affordable housing has resulted in a dramatic increase in the number of people who cannot access affordable and social housing. As a result, many are forced to live in unsuitable and unsafe places of accommodation.
Social and affordable housing seeks to improve the daily living conditions of the most profoundly disadvantaged and vulnerable people in our community. It is accommodation that provides a safe, affordable, clean, and secure home in which to live without fear of harassment. It offers the foundations to rebuild people’s lives by providing access to below market rental accommodation, developing greater connectivity between the women, create a sense of belonging with access to appropriate community services.
BLP are working with Housing All Australians (HAA) and YWCA to repurpose a former residential aged care facility (RACF) in South Melbourne awaiting redevelopment to provide short-term accommodation for women over 50 experiencing homelessness. Our role on this project has been to donate our professional services to upgrade the ‘Lakehouse’ to create appropriate transitional housing for HAA, known as ‘Pop Up Housing’.
HAA ‘Pop Up Housing’ afford this cohort of women an impetus to re-establish themselves within a community, to get back on their feet, obtain gainful employment so that one day they can secure public or community housing, or re-enter the private rental market.
At BLP we believe in the value of creating healthy environments. We understand that designing for our most vulnerable population is paramount to the sustainability of our communities. Research by Peninsula Community Legal Centre, ‘Open the door! The residents view of life in a room house’ has identified much of this cohort cite that one of their biggest challenges is their health, and this is largely defined as mental ill health. In refurbishing disused buildings to provide greater supply of transitional housing with contemporary interiors, good amenity, and pleasant surroundings, it provides residents the ability to make new connections and live in a supported environment. Living in a supported and safe environment is known to assist in fostering positivity and feelings of inclusion and belonging. This in turn leads to reduced levels of anxiety and depression and eventually promotes enhanced feelings of health and wellbeing.
We feel honoured and privileged to work alongside our partners on this incredibly worthwhile project as we contribute to shape the future of social infrastructure for our communities’ wellbeing, healing, and growth.