Sedgwick Housing Co-operative celebrated its second year since establishment with a Filipino fiesta vibe.

Four years ago, Filipino-Australian housing co-operative Kapitbahayan Co-operative Limited (KCL) had the opportunity to work with the government to provide 10 Filipino-Australian individuals or couples a property of their own to rent at subsidised fees in the suburb of Leumeah (near Campbelltown).

These 10 units were available to those who met a certain set of criteria, including being aged 50 and above, semi-retired or earning a certain income, or have a disability.

In return for lower or subsidised rent, these individuals manage the property themselves. In other words, the housing co-op is an alternative to the housing commission model, which can cost the government more in the long run due to higher maintenance costs, tenant turnover and in some cases, vandalism of the property.

By contrast, the KCL model helps strengthen the local community by providing a de facto support network for the residents living within the co-op, as was the case with the residents who moved into the properties at Leumeah.

Two years later, KCL spun off a second co-op, Sedgwick Housing Co-operative, so named after the street it is in.

That was back in May 1, 2012. Last Sunday, Sedgwick Housing Co-op celebrated its second birthday as an independent co-op, with guests including Consul General Anne Jalando-on Louis, community leaders, MP Laurie Ferguson, Common Equity NSW (CENSW) chief executive Robyn Cahoun and many more.

To celebrate, the group held a thanksgiving mass and a short program, followed by a meal (see photos).

"On behalf of Sedgwick Housing Co-operative Limited officers and tenant-members, we would like to thank you all for joining us in our 2nd Anniversary as Co-operative, though we have been here for four years," said the Co-op's head, Jimmy Lopez.

After the program, guests were invited to take home freshly harvested vegetables from the co-op's own garden.

"It's absolutely wonderful to be here today and to see that you have built a strong sense of community. Your camaraderie and the success of this Co-op shows that the model works," said Cahoun, CENSW chief executive, in her speech at the event. 

The Leumeah properties were allocated by the NSW Land and Housing Corporation as part of the Nation Building Economic Stimulus Plan in 2011. 

According to the CENSW website, cooperative housing provides a unique social and affordable housing model, where tenants have considerable responsibility, actively engaged in the day-to-day management of their tenancies.

CENSW equips members to manage finances, maintenance and local issues under the Community Housing Registration held by CENSW on behalf of all cooperative housing in NSW.


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