Coffs Harbour Nan finally has a safe home thanks to Community Housing Ltd

Donna with her table where she’ll host her family dinners and do arts and crafts.

 

NAN Donna, a local Coffs Harbour Aboriginal grandmother, finally has a place to call her own thanks to the support of not-for-profit housing provider, Community Housing Ltd (CHL).

After years on the social housing waitlist, Nan Donna was one of the 405,000 Australian women over the age of 45 on the brink of homelessness in NSW*.

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A place to have her family over for dinner; a garden for her eight-year-old grannie (grandson Marquell) to play and have friends round; a chair outside in a safe place.

These are the simple pleasures Nan Donna is grateful for since being given the keys to her new three-bedroomed home.

“It’s a godsend, big time,” Donna told News Of the Area.

For years Donna has lived a rollercoaster life, latterly living in a bedsitter in Armidale, with her young grandson having to share the same bed, away from her daughters who live in Coffs Harbour.

“When CHL called me and said they had a house to offer me I said yes straight away.

“I’m over the moon…I love it.

“I’m going to make the garden nice for the grannies to play in and I’m going to have everyone over to dinner on Christmas Eve.”

Her eldest grandson has just graduated Year 10, another reason to celebrate.

“More times than not I’m out here in the garden.

“I have my table here where I can do my arts and crafts, I’m just getting into sand art and I can get the kids involved.

“I have a little radio here and it’s where I sit and have my coffee in the morning.”

A little emotional, Donna said, “It’s practically saved my sanity.

“You will say a big, big thank you to Community Housing, won’t you?”

Yes, Donna, we will.

So that’s official – a huge thank you from Donna.

“I’ve never been so happy in my life before,” she said.

Nan Donna knows she is one of the lucky ones, with the pandemic seeing older women become the fastest growing cohort of people experiencing homelessness – she is now eager to see more local housing support for people like her.

Community Housing Ltd. is a not-for-profit housing organisation delivering good quality, sustainable, affordable housing for the most vulnerable in the community.

CHL is focused on developing housing options for those experiencing housing difficulty and is continuously improving its service delivery to tenants so they can live stable lives, raise families, engage in employment or study and generally have enough to live adequately and safely day to day.

CHL is a vertically integrated operation that manages the entire housing lifecycle, including securing funding, locating suitable land, project managing, designing and constructing, then managing the tenancy for the long-term, collecting rents and maintaining the property.

*August 2020 Report developed by the Housing for the Aged Action Group.

 

By Andrea FERRARI

 

The garden where Donna’s grandson will play with his friends.

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