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Affordable development meets community need

Residents Graham and Robyn

Churches of Christ in Queensland have officially opened a $10.6 million, 50 townhouse affordable living development in Kallangur, Queensland.

The townhouses were built on land gifted by local philanthropists Ian and Neva Handy, and now house 91 residents.

Churches of Christ in Queensland Chief Executive Officer Dr Paul Scully says the residents are enjoying a sense of community and the high quality accommodation.

‘There are many challenges facing affordable housing developers, one of which is finding appropriate and reasonably priced land. Thanks to the generous donation of land by the Handy family we have delivered a positive social outcome for the Kallangur community,’ Dr Scully says.

The Moreton Bay couple who donated the 9,000 square metre site were involved throughout the project, including working on the townhouse design and landscaping.

‘We partnered with Churches of Christ in Queensland as they are highly regarded for their affordable housing programs,’ Mr Handy said.

Mr Handy said that by donating the land, it enabled a reduction in the overall project costs, which then allowed the not-for-profit to provide affordable housing for reduced rent.

‘We are very supportive of their program to supply affordable housing to those in need, and are very pleased with the newly completed development.’

The building project created local employment and has enabled many of the residents to move from inappropriate living situations to a new home where they can experience independence, security, safety and comfort.

Meryl was one of the first people to express interest in securing a townhouse and moved from her one-bedroom unit in Mango Hill to a two-bedroom townhouse.

‘My friend had found out about them at her local church and let me know,’ Meryl said. ‘I am very happy here.’

Since moving into the townhouses, Aidan, 34, has found independence for the first time. Living with Cerebral Palsy means he requires a home that is accessible and is easy to navigate.

‘I reached a point where I felt it was definitely time I found a place of my own,’ Aidan says.

‘I like that I can learn new skills and start to grow up. The townhouse is the perfect size, and easy to keep clean and take care of.

‘Finding my own place was at the top of my list,’ he said. ‘Now I can look at setting some new goals.’

The townhouses are providing vital housing for lower income earners, key workers, individuals and families, who struggle to afford rents in the private market.

Churches of Christ General Manager Frances Paterson-Fleider, ‘Our vision is to empower communities through high-quality housing solutions and enhance people’s lives by providing safe, secure and affordable homes that people want to live in.’

‘As a nation we are faced with the issue of providing enough affordable housing in a market that is consistently decreasing in affordability, particularly around our major cities.

‘This development fills a vital gap between social housing and the soaring cost of the private rental market.’