Uniting as responsible stewards.
In addition to the financial challenges brought on by COVID-19, Uniting has experienced further funding pressure due to our legacy challenges – including ageing property assets, technology and process deficits, and capability gaps. Yet our commitment to responsible stewardship continues, as we strive to wisely use the resources entrusted to us by the Uniting Church, government, and partners, and invest for maximum social impact.”
In FY20, refurbishing and replacing our Residential Aged Care facilities was a priority, despite the ongoing funding challenges. Our journey to reconfigure multi-bed rooms into single bedrooms has prevailed, enabling Uniting to offer contemporary accommodation for the baby-boomer generation, as they demand higher-quality accommodation and more choices, in line with our person-centred Household Model of care.
This year Uniting also delivered 164 additional homes, in partnership with NSW Government, as part of the Social and Affordable Housing Fund (SAHF). Another development is now in progress at Port Macquarie, furthering our commitment to providing safe and affordable rental solutions for those who need them most.
And along with the successful renegotiation of the Uniting Newpin contract in partnership with the Department of Communities and Justice, we have also re-secured our Local Area Co-ordination (LAC) service for connecting people with the National Disability Insurance Scheme (NDIS). In FY20, the Hunter-New England region was added to our 5 existing service districts covering the Illawarra-Shoalhaven and Nepean-Blue Mountains regions, as well as Southern NSW, Northern Sydney and Western Sydney.
Looking ahead, as part of our 10-year Vision, we’ll be harnessing more opportunities to make a real difference in Western Sydney and regional NSW. We’ve already begun with Uniting Westmead, our new multi-service redevelopment bringing, aged care, retirement living, early learning, and a wellness hub – all to one convenient location.
Redevelopments of existing services, including Uniting Edinglassie Emu Plains and Uniting Aldersgate Lilyfield, are contributing to a record number of new Uniting residential aged care facilities being commissioned, and an additional 164 places for aged care residents. And the expansion of our Retirement Living villages has started with Uniting Bowden Brae Normanhurst, and new residences in Yamba, Nowra and Gerringong.
And as the recommendations of recent and ongoing Royal Commissions are addressed by the Commonwealth and State Governments, Uniting will be ready to respond and assist, partnering with other sector providers where possible, to ensure the best outcomes for the people and communities we serve.