Key and essential workers now live where they earn and learn, in Westmead

26 April 2022

Finding affordable housing in our cities and towns is challenging at the moment but it is particularly daunting for people living in Sydney, arguably Australia’s least affordable city.

In fact, it’s housing affordability and hip pocket pressures that are keeping home buyers and renters across Greater Sydney awake at night, according to the results of the Committee for Sydney’s recent annual Life in Sydney report. 

Sky-rocketing rents, a hot housing market and a high cost of living is also limiting choices for Sydney’s key and essential workers at a time when the city needs them most. These people are often in the early stages of their career and on moderate incomes.

Attracting key workers like Brisbane born midwife Elisa to the rapidly growing Greater Western Sydney region is important as it currently boasts the highest birth rate in NSW.

Elisa was excited about her new role in the maternity ward of Westmead Private Hospital, co-located with Westmead Hospital and The Children’s Hospital and the University of Western Sydney, but she was also bracing herself for the prospect of having to live a great distance from her work.

“Sydney is a great place to live but enjoying all the city has to offer is hard when prices are so high,” Elisa said.

“Friends and family warned me it was going to be hard, but it was important to find something close to work and within my price range. I didn’t want to be spending all my money on rent and transport and far away from the few friends I have in Sydney.”

Elisa is now a new tenant with SGCH, she’s living in one of the 85 apartments in the Highline development at Westmead, catering for key and essential workers – people employed in essential industries like health care, education, emergency services and law enforcement.

“I feel so lucky to have found SGCH and my brand-new apartment in the Highline development, which is a less than 10-minute walk to my work.

“I work shifts – often starting very early in the morning – so long commutes on public transport would have been hard. I’m also new to Sydney so I wanted to be close to friends so I can enjoy the limited downtime that I do have.

“SGCH have been wonderful. The paperwork was sorted out quickly, once I had shown I met the criteria, and I was able to move in almost straight away.

“The apartment is such a great space and the Highline has great amenities including a communal swimming pool and BBQ area, and it’s an easy walk to transport to anywhere. I am not spending all my money on rent, and I have colleagues who also live in Highline or close by, she said.”

SGCH and its investment partner Lighthouse Infrastructure and Highline builder Deicorp have made it possible for key and essential workers in Westmead to live in high quality housing, in a precinct close to where they learn and earn. It’s collaborative approaches like this one that are helping to solve the housing affordability problem while paving the way for strong investor and government commitment to investing in much needed housing solutions to meet the unwavering demand for affordable housing.