The newly renovated and expanded office for Wentworth Community Housing in Penrith was officially opened by Minister for Social Housing, Pru Goward and State Member for Penrith, Stuart Ayres on Wednesday.
Mr Ayres said social housing was being transformed through innovative models and partnerships such as this.
“Social and affordable housing is so important in our area, and that’s why I am proud to be part of a Government committed to strengthening vital safety nets for the most vulnerable in our community,” Mr Ayres said.
“Housing providers like Wentworth play an important and expanding role in the provision and management of social and affordable housing.”
Wentworth Community Housing is a not-for-profit housing company that provides affordable rental housing and additional assistance to eligible people who are on low to moderate incomes.
They manage close to 2,200 properties with the majority located in the Penrith, Hawkesbury, Blue Mountains and Blacktown Local Government Areas.
In 2017, Wentworth will have an additional 135 properties allocated to it for management by the Department of Family and Community Services under the Management Transfers Program.
Wentworth Chief Executive Officer, Stephen McIntyre, said the renovation and enhanced facilities were essential in creating a safe space for clients.
“We want our office to reflect the care and compassion our staff have for our clients, some of whom are in very tough personal situations,” he said.
“Our intention is to improve the experience for our clients from the moment they step through the door.
“This includes the provision of family-friendly meeting rooms and a warm and welcoming environment.”
Ms Goward said the refurbished office was necessary to improve service delivery in the greater western Sydney area as Wentworth’s clients rapidly grow.
“Wentworth Community Housing provides vital support to vulnerable people throughout western Sydney,” she said.
“I particularly commend Wentworth’s work in its specialist homelessness service, which in 2016/17 is expected to provide assistance to 800 new people experiencing or at risk of experiencing homelessness across Penrith, the Blue Mountains and Hawkesbury.”
Emily Newton is the Weekender’s police and political reporter. Emily is also the Weekender’s Senior Journalist.