ColleenFor Colleen, relocating to a new home under the Growing and Renewing Public Housing Program gave her the opportunity to live closer to friends.

Having lived in Florey for 33 years, Colleen had nurtured an impressive garden with 2 bird baths and made good friends in the surrounding areas.

Now 74, Colleen realised the garden was becoming more than she could maintain; “As you get older you can’t do as much. I’m practical minded. I could logically see that it was a balance of staying healthy [rather] than doing more physically.”

When the tenant relocation team found her a property in neighbouring Scullin, she was pleased to find it was even closer to her friends and would help her maintain these connections and stay in her local region.

“They really listened and were patient,” she says of the team. “For an older person who is not quite ready to move, it can be emotionally crippling as they stop to think about the memories. How they have fixed their home up for their personality and wellbeing. They can’t shift from that commitment unless it is necessary.”

Having found the right property for herself, Colleen gave herself time to pack, focusing on one corner of the house each day. She took lots of photos and distributed her treasures– succulent plants, pebbles, bird baths – to friends who would enjoy them as much as she had. Tenant Relocation Officers checked in regularly to offer assistance and support throughout the move.

Colleen’s new home is easier to maintain with a courtyard that receives lots of morning sun. On sunny days, she enjoys her coffee there while chatting with her neighbours. She is able to continue her routine of visiting her local church, having friends over for movies and easily travel to the shops.

“The program came at the right time, downsizing was the right choice,” she says of the move.

If home is where the heart is, Colleen is closer to home than ever.

Page updated: 18 Aug 2022