Older lesbians experiencing housing or financial hardship are invited to apply to live in one of three two-bedroom subsidised apartments in Brunswick, Melbourne.

The Matrix Guild bought the apartments, thanks to a bequest. Located in Albert St, they are due for completion in late May or early June.

Matrix Guild housing project convenor Anneke Deutsch said the almost-completed housing is the realisation of a dream for the organisation.

“Matrix was started with the view there’s so much prejudice in aged care, we need an old dykes’ home. Wouldn’t it be fun if we could all play cards and hang around together and be ourselves and not have to be closeted in a nursing home,” Deutsch said.

“To establish a nursing home is a huge enterprise and extremely costly and we also realised that most older women don’t live in nursing homes. Most older women, like any other older people, want to live in their own flat, so there’s probably more of a need for independent housing.

“I’ve had a lot of feedback from women who’ve wanted this to happen for a long time, and I think it’s a really positive thing it’s finally happening.”

The purpose-built apartments have full wheelchair access, are close to public transport and services and will be rented out at 25 percent of total household income — similar to public housing rental rates.
Deutsch said the apartments are well-appointed.

“It’s more generous than social housing normally is, in that normally you get a little one-bedroom box and that’s it,” she said.

“These apartments are very comfortable, they’re two-bedroom, stainless steel, they have big glass north-facing windows, there’s a gym. It’s not your typical Housing Commission building.

“[And] they’ll probably be paying a quarter or less what market rent would be.”
Matrix Guild is looking for women aged over 65-years, single or in a couple, whose main income is the pension and who don’t have property or assets over $30,000, to apply.

A full list of eligibility criteria is available on the Matrix website.

info: Visit www.matrixguildvic.org.au

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