A building in Sydney awaiting development approval has been temporarily donated by an Australian property group to address youth homelessness.
TOGA, in partnership with joint owner Qualitas, today announced the former Addison Hotel in Kensington had transformed into pop-up accommodation for vulnerable youth; after making available the vacant building revenue-free.
Set to house more than 42 vulnerable youth, The Addison Project, is operated by community housing provider My Foundations Youth Housing.
Tim Webster talks to Allan Vidor, Managing Director of the Toga Group, about the Addison Project, which is giving over forty vulnerable youth a place to stay.
TOGA Group of Companies Managing Director Allan Vidor said that constructive partnerships between the private and public sectors, and sensible planning reform, had the power to address the housing challenges facing vulnerable young people in Sydney.
“By making available our building we hope to make a difference in the lives of those who stay at The Addison Project as well as inspire other property owners to consider utilising their vacant assets,” said Mr Vidor.
“Together, the private and public sectors must work toward meaningful planning reform which has the potential to unlock many opportunities to make empty buildings across Sydney immediately available to those who are experiencing, or at risk of, homelessness.
No single level of government or service can tackle youth homelessness – innovative solutions must be borne from innovative collaborations between public and private sectors,” Mr Vidor added.
The former hotel contains 42 fully-furnished rooms, each with a bathroom and kitchenette, set across three-storeys; creating an appropriate short-term accommodation option for youth.
TOGA has made available the former hotel to My Foundations Youth Housing for a minimum of 12 months.
My Foundations Youth Housing Chair, Assoc. Professor David McKenzie said The Addison Project would provide both crisis accommodation for those at risk of homelessness and young people with a safe space to live and study while they work to secure more permanent solutions and stabilise their circumstances.
“The Addison Project is an excellent example of seizing an opportunity to provide a bold and innovative solution.
Whilst not intended as a solution to homelessness, it is a positive step in the right direction while we work towards addressing the provision of housing in a practical and immediate way,” Mr McKenzie said.
The Addison Project targets youth at risk of homelessness aged between 16 and 24; with young people holding less than 2 per cent of the 140,000 Social Housing tenancies across NSW.*
Family and Community Services (FACS) will refer up to 14 rooms to those in-need of Temporary Accommodation.
OzHarvest, Orange Sky Laundry and Thread Together join the project
The Addison Project also includes an anchoring retail space where OzHarvest will open Australia’s first ever rescued food supermarket – OzHarvest Market – next month.
Ronni Kahn, CEO and Founder of OzHarvest said the Australian first would be a pop-up marketplace providing rescued food sourced from its existing local donor network and available on a ‘take what you need, pay what you can’ basis.
“We are thrilled to be part of this ground-breaking project with TOGA and are excited to be transforming the donated space into Australia’s first rescued food supermarket,” said Ms Kahn.
“The OzHarvest Market will be opening its doors soon, making sure good food does not go to waste and is available to everyone, especially to those who need it most.”
This initiative is jointly supported by leading innovators in social enterprise Orange Sky Laundry and Thread Together who will contribute by providing vital on-site services.
The Addison Hotel forms part of a mixed-use development proposal lodged for the site at 147 Anzac Parade and adjoining property.
The site is conveniently located 700 metres from the University of New South Wales, less than two kilometres from the Prince of Wales Hospital and less than six kilometres from the Sydney CBD.
TOGA and Qualitas acquired the site in mid-2015.