Sunshine Coast women who have retired from work will now find it easier to find a more affordable home, thanks to a new shared housing initiative launched on the Sunshine Coast today.
Two well-established Sunshine Coast not for profit organisations – Sundale and Coast2Bay Housing Group have partnered together to work on a solution to housing affordability and social isolation for women who have retired from work, but still want to lead an active life.
Member for Maroochydore Fiona Simpson and Member for Noosa Sandy Bolton attended the launch of the Better Together Housing project today at Suncoast Community Legal Service in Maroochydore.
Better Together Housing provides an opportunity for older single women to find affordable shared living solutions. It connects women who are looking for a home to share with women that have a larger home they want to share, providing companionship, affordability, peace of mind and security for women on the Sunshine Coast.
Coast2Bay Housing Group's Operations Manager Lee Banfield said that Coast2Bay Housing Group was thrilled to be partnering with Sundale in such an important project.
"Better Together Housing will benefit so many older women who have either been struggling to find safe, affordable housing or have homes which they'd be happy to share with other like-minded women," Ms Banfield said.
Ms Simpson said that Better Together Housing would help many women to enjoy the benefits of shared housing in terms of companionship and support.
"It is hard for a single person to afford the high costs of private rental accomodation on the Sunshine Coast," Ms Simpson said.
"The Better Together Housing model provides a safe model to women who have different housing needs and may not be comfortable using mainstream house sharing services.
"It also helps women who are trying to manage a larger property on their own to share their costs by renting out a room.
"This can be a win-win situation – helping women who are no longer working to find appropriate affordable accommodation and have more money available to enjoy life.
"Shared housing like this uses existing homes and can provide companionship and support for those who would otherwise be struggling to manage alone."
Ms Bolton said that she understood that housing affordability was a growing issue for many people living on the Sunshine Coast.
"Better Together Housing is offering a practical solution to the problem of housing affordability," Ms Bolton said.
"I congratulate Gail Middleton of Sundale and Lee Banfield of Coast2Bay for their work in developing this model and co-designing the project with older women living in housing uncertainty.
"Women connecting through Better Together Housing can make their own decisions about who they share with and can have peace of mind knowing that all participants in the program have been 'checked out'.
"Many people on the Sunshine Coast are impacted by increasing rent and it would be good to see this shared housing model growing to include other groups in our community.
Program participant Patricia Cullum said that the program would help many single woman living in rental accommodation.
"This will help many women like me who have high levels of education and motivation and aren't in need of ongoing support services," Ms Cullum said.
"Women like me are capable of making our own decisions, but we want to share with like-minded women.
"Help with reference checks and police checks for all participants provide an extra safety net for everyone."
For more information about Better Together Housing go to www.bettertogetherhousing.com.au, follow us on Facebook or call 0409 810 668.