INCREASING maintenance costs and more effective medications has put a question mark over the future of a residential care facility for people living with HIV.

The Bobby Goldsmith Foundation (BGF), which provides practical support to people with HIV, is undertaking a consultation on the future of the BG House supported accommodation unit in Sydney’s eastern suburbs.

Nine residents currently live at BG House, most for two to three years at a time, which is two-thirds owned by the NSW Housing Department and one-third by BGF.

BGF chief executive David Riddell said the consultation had already involved government, community service providers, staff and residents: “While no decision has yet been made, one likely outcome is the closure of BG House and the sale of the property.”

Riddell added that the rise of anti-retroviral medications had lessened the role for a dedicated care home.

“The needs of people living with HIV and AIDS in NSW have changed significantly since BG House was established,” he said.

“BGF has been focused on ensuring our service models evolve with the needs of our clients and this change is an outcome of that approach.

“This is particularly important given the influx of new HIV diagnoses who have needs that are not met through a residential care facility.”

The costs of maintaining the heritage property were also part of the consultation with Riddell saying major building works were required that were “beyond our scope and funding ability”.

“We’re not property managers. What BGF does best is deliver care and support and this will continue,” Riddell said.

If BG House does close, Riddell said the needs of the current residents would be met, including finding alternative accommodation.

“We have an absolute commitment to the ongoing care and support of people in residential accommodation now and into the future,” he said.

The organisation is looking at a number of alternatives to BG House, including the creation of a lower-cost supported accommodation block or providing services for future clients in non-BGF facilities.

No date had yet been set for a final decision on BG House.

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