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WE’RE BRINGING OUR REFLECT RECONCILIATION ACTION PLAN TO LIFE

City West Housing are pleased to announce the endorsement of our Reflect Reconciliation Action Plan by Reconciliation Australia. 

Maddison Gibbs is a proud Barkindji woman who is a multidisciplinary contemporary artist. The City West Housing resident’s artwork plays a starring role in the organisation’s first Reflect Reconciliation Action Plan.

“I am excited and proud to be a featured artist for City West Housing who is celebrating and bringing Aboriginal culture to the forefront, where it should be,” said Maddison.

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Our Residents

A COLOURFUL LIFE

Singer, songwriter and actor Francis wrote the song ‘Roof over my head’ to thank City West Housing for giving him a home for 15 years.

“This is my home now and I’m very attached to it. Having a home means everything. I see people on the street, especially knowing that there’s women living in their car with kids, that’s just so sad.”

The Vietnam Veteran has  written 33 songs which are featured in the National Film and Sound Archive of Australia. “ I’m thankful to City West Housing for providing me with secure housing which gives me the opportunity to kick back and recover my health after a colourful career.”

Francis

NEXT CHAPTER OF LIFE

When Chris returned to inner-city Sydney to care for his unwell father, he rented a place privately so he could focus his spare time on caring for him. While this caused him some financial stress but the decision to be close to his father was more important.

After his father died, Chris tried to find affordable housing options in the inner city. He needed a place that was close to work and was advised by a Housing NSW advocate to contact us to see if they could find him a home.

“I had not previously heard of the good people associated with City West Housing and was excited to see if they could help me build the next chapter of my life and to stay close to where my father lived for so long.”

Chris was also overwhelmed by the support and generosity of the community around him.

Chris

THROUGH HER EYES

Lucy* went from being homeless to thriving in City West Housing. After Lucy became a single mum, she slept on a mattress on the floor in between her children’s single beds, in her mother’s housing commission flat, for 18 months.

“Having a home is everything. It’s the soft place to fall. Before City West we were staying with my mother who has mental health issues. You can’t imagine the feeling when you don’t have a safe home to go to, it’s so stressful especially with children.

“I was only working part time when I moved in. There’s no way I could have afforded the private rental market. The opportunity provided a springboard for me to study and progress my career in a central location and my children could continue at the same school. My daughter is now at university. It really changed our lives.

“City West has the potential to save lives, offering people a chance at a better life, not just accommodation.”

*Real name withheld to protect privacy Stock image by Elina Fairytale on Pexels.com
Lucy

Working on the Frontline

Registered Nurse Scarlet was dealing with the pressures of being a health care worker during the COVID pandemic when a home with City West Housing became available and a dream came true. “Living on my own I’ve never had to consider the risks and stress of potentially transmitting the virus to housemates. I also work busy shifts so I can wind down and recharge at home then go to work fresh, cook at home at midnight or get up at 3am for my shift and not bother others.” “My biggest pride is my balcony garden. I never realised that I liked plants before and could keep them alive. Having my own personal space has also inspired me to save money and work hard and I hope to buy my own home one day.”
Scarlet

Music to his ears

Victor and his family had experienced the worst of the private rental market when offered an affordable apartment in Zetland with City West Housing three years ago. Insecurity of tenure, multiple moves, sub-standard housing that the landlord wouldn’t fix, health problems with damp and mould, unexpected rent rises and paying too much of their household income on rent “we could never move forward in our lives”, Victor said. The high school English teacher, self-employed partner Melissa and their now 18-year-old son saw a City of Sydney advertisement about affordable housing and were referred to City West Housing. “I’ve got peace of mind now. If there’s an issue, I know someone will respond in an equitable way. I feel a respectful relationship between us as tenants and our landlord has been restored.” A former electronic musician, producer and audio engineer, Victor gave up the insecure music industry for the stability and rewards of teaching. He now plays music for pleasure in a place he calls “home”.
Victor

A Creative Life

Maddison is a proud Barkindji woman and artist who went from couch surfing to building a successful business whilst living at City West Housing. She produces digital animation, drawing, ceramics, printmaking, murals and painting, including the ‘Heal Country’ public space mural we commissioned her to create at our Blackwattle Apartments. “The community at City West Housing is so diverse, I wanted to celebrate that with the mural, to bring joy and life to the building.” Maddison was facing leaving student accommodation, after she completed a Bachelor of Design in Animation, at the University of Technology, with nowhere to live. “Living at City West Housing made a huge difference to me. It helped me to focus on finishing my studies and allowed me to set up my own business in the inner city.”
Maddison

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