Church agencies unite to provide homes for those in need
By Veronika Cox
Vacant land in Penguin has been transformed into homes for those in need, thanks to a partnership between the Mersey-Leven Parish, CatholicCare Tasmania and Centacare Evolve Housing.
Partnerships and Development Manager Sarah Henley said the vacant land was only occasionally used for parking and, given the ever-increasing housing demand, offered an opportunity to provide housing to the region.
“The partnership saw the demolition of a redundant presbytery and the resultant construction of seven new homes – six two-bedroom units and one one-bedroom unit,” she explained.
“Six of the units were constructed funded by joint funding by Homes Tasmania in CatholicCare Tasmania. The units will be retained for social housing for those exiting the priority social housing waitlist. The seventh unit will be retained by the Mersey-Leven Parish for the purpose of affordable housing.”
Ms Henley said the newly constructed homes would benefit the community in many ways.
“Most importantly, the homes provide housing outcomes to those in the community that need it most and may otherwise need to leave Penguin and their established networks to secure affordable housing,” she said.
“It is so important that we continue to provide housing options across the state, not just in more densely populated areas.”
Ms Henley said land opportunities to build social housing across the state were increasingly difficult to source.
“St Mary’s Parish at Penguin is testament to housing outcomes that can be achieved when Catholic agencies partner together to achieve outcomes for their communities,” she said.
“An additional contribution to the parish by CatholicCare has meant that the church and hall were also re-energised with a fresh coat of paint, new concrete paths and landscaping providing a well utilised and well thought out development that will service the parish and the community for years to come.”
Centacare Evolve Housing CEO Ben Wilson thanked the parish and Fr Jaison Kuzhiyil for allowing the partnership to come to fruition.
“The partnership between St Marys Catholic Church at Braddon Street, Penguin, CatholicCare Tasmania and Centacare Evolve Housing, has seen a significant restoration completed to the church, a new unit returned to the parish, and several new units made available for many Tasmanians in need of a safe and secure home,” Mr Wilson said.