City West Story: James

As he approached retirement, James had to consider where to settle down and how to spend his newfound free time. Having visited Australia many times for over 30 years, in 2011 he decided to move to Australia and live here permanently. However, the plan to live with his partner on her property in Australia changed when the couple decided to part ways.

James shared a friend’s apartment for a short while and began setting up his new life in Australia, finding work, establishing a strong group of friends, and becoming an Australian citizen in 2016. But when his friend sold the apartment, James realised he needed his own accommodation in Australia. He had the urge to create a place he could truly call his own.

It was funny, actually. I happened upon the City West Housing stand at a Fair Day several years ago and remember how helpful and friendly the team there was. After remembering this, I decided to apply for an apartment with City West Housing and was successful! I feel enormously lucky to be a part of the City West Housing family, especially at my age.

Having secured a stable home for himself with CWH, James is now able to travel to work with the ease of a 20-minute walk.

Previously I was traveling for up to an hour each way from Meadowbank, usually by train or ferry which ultimately reduced the time I could commit to seeing friends or family. Now I can reach anywhere in the city by foot quickly, which I really enjoy because it benefits my overall health. I’ve even sold my car recently because I don’t need it anymore!

James works for Visitor Services for the City of Sydney and understands with the current economic climate that there are more and more people out there who need help finding somewhere affordable to live.

I wish the local and federal governments would encourage the development of more affordable housing rather than that of ‘investment apartments’ which seem to stand empty. Affordable housing has provided me with stability at a time where I needed it most, so I wish for others to be able to have access to something as life-changing as a secure home.

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