The St Vincent de Paul Society’s circa $10m affordable home development takes shape in Smithton.

(L-R):Cllr. Gerard Blizzard, Mayor of Circular Head Council
The Hon. Guy Barnett, MP, Minister for State Development, Construction and Housing.
Mark Gaetani, State President, St Vincent de Paul Society
Ben Wilson, CEO, Centacare Evolve Housing
Belinda Clarke, Executive General Manager, Centacare Evolve Housing

Minister for State Development, Construction and Housing, the Hon. Guy Barnett, MP has toured Rosalie Court in Smithton on the Northwest Coast. The circa $10m, 28-affordable home development was made possible by a partnership between the St Vincent de Paul Society, the Tasmanian Government, and Centacare Evolve Housing. Rosalie Court will deliver 28 homes for the over 55s cohort in the Northwest of Tasmania. Following the required process for approvals, all parties involved were pleased to celebrate commencement of the development, which is now under construction and due for completion by December 2023.
 
St Vincent de Paul Society (Tas) State President, Mr Mark Gaetani, said that the Society is pleased that construction on this crucial affordable homes development is now underway and that Christmas 2023 will be a special occasion for the residents of the Rosalie Court community.
 
“Securing affordable housing and reasonable rents in private properties has been difficult for many Tasmanians in 2021 and 2022. The Society has experienced a 15 percent increase in the number of Tasmanians seeking assistance, including those in need of affordable housing,” Mr Gaetani said.
 
“Low-income couples and families, and especially women over 55, face similar challenges. Even if they have saved a little bit of money, it just takes one major unexpected event in their lives, such as a medical emergency, to push people from safe and secure to struggle street almost overnight.
 
While 28 new homes might not seem a lot, they will mean the world to the low-income, over 55s residents who will be calling Rosalie Court their home from late 2023,” Mr Gaetani said.
 
“The St Vincent de Paul Society committed $2.5m to the Rosalie Court affordable housing development, which came from the transfer of Mt St Vincent Nursing Home, in Ulverstone, in 2019. The Society’s State Council was committed to ensuring that funds that originated on the Northwest Coast were spent on a project in the region. As part of its $200m Affordable Housing Strategy 2015-2025, the Tasmanian Government supplied a further amount of around $5m to make the project a reality, so we could build more homes.
 
“Rosalie Court is designed to create a sense of community and belonging for the residents. Situated within walking distance of the Smithton town centre and close to medical facilities, the development will offer peace of mind to those who choose to live there, remaining close to friends and broader family networks across the Circular Head region.
 
“Without partnership developments like Rosalie Court, the impact and cost of homelessness and those at risk of homelessness will continue to rise and become a challenge for the whole community,” Mr Gaetani added.
 
Project partner Centacare Evolve Housing Chief Executive Officer, Mr Ben Wilson, said that by working in partnership with government and the St Vincent de Paul Society, Centacare Evolve Housing is delivering affordable housing options, such as Rosalie Court, to support people from disadvantaged backgrounds who need a hand up.
 
“Centacare Evolve Housing is committed to investing in regional communities across Tasmania in an effort to improve access to social and affordable housing for Tasmanians. We are incredibly proud of this partnership project with the St Vincent de Paul Society, which will make a tangible difference to people in need,” Mr Wilson said.

MEDIA NOTES: The St Vincent de Paul Society was founded in Paris, France in 1833 by a 20-year old Italian student, Frederic Ozanam. Today, the Society operates in 153 countries and has over 800,000 members. Australia has over 60,000 members, dedicated to assisting people in need and combating social injustice. The Society started in Tasmania in 1899 when founders established a Conference in Launceston. From humble beginnings, the Society has grown to 25 Conferences within three Regional Councils across Tasmania. Each Conference undertake a variety of good works, the most recognised being the traditional Vincentian home visits and the annual CEO Sleep-out to draw attention to homelessness.

Media contact, Mark Wells: +61 414 015 966 (24-hours)
© St Vincent de Paul Society and MWPA.

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