This story first appeared in our 2021-22 Annual Report. Read it here.
In 2018, amid state government plans to redevelop Ivanhoe Estate in Sydney’s north-west, residents were told they needed to relocate. While the development aimed to provide more social and affordable housing supply, it was a confronting situation for many who called the Estate home.
Among those impacted was Anne, who had lived at Ivanhoe for 29 years and raised her three children there. She felt part of a community and knew all her neighbours. Moving on, she said, felt like her “security was all of a sudden being taken away”.
“It was quite daunting, not knowing what to expect,” Anne recalls. When she was transferred to her current home in West Ryde, Anne was told Link Wentworth would now be managing her tenancy, which was another change to adjust to.
“Community housing had some different ways of doing things,” she says. “I’d never had to deal with the rental assistance that gets put on, so I had to learn about new things and how it worked.”
Link Wentworth helped the transition, she says, with helpful information and responsive staff. “I actually have found it easier with Link Wentworth to talk to people,” she says, comparing it to her previous experience. “Everyone’s just been really nice and welcoming is what I found.”
While she admits the move was really hard, Anne feels settled in her home now. The property is also thankfully suited to her needs—it has a room for her and a room for her son, a backyard for their cat, and a ramp that assists with her mobility issues.
“I was really worried about what I was going to be given,” she says. “But I’m lucky… It’s an old red-brick home. My daughter put in a trampoline for the (grandkids). There’s a carport, so the kids play outside there in the good weather and it’s safe away from the road. I just feel really blessed.” Reflecting on the move, which happened four years ago in May, Anne says Link Wentworth turned a scary time into a positive experience.
“I’m not that great with change,” she says. “And I just remember that first time walking into Link Wentworth, being greeted with a smile, and a ‘how can we help you?’ And it was like, ‘Oh, wow’.
“It gave you ease during an uneasy time.”
Anne is now a member of Link Wentworth’s Tenant Advisory Group (TAG) and Policy Review Committee and gets involved in community programs where she can. From her experience, she believes that Community Housing Providers are a really positive addition to the housing landscape.