Relief and joy over a place to call home

THE completion of a major social housing project in Orange has dragged on much longer than it should have but in the end the scheme is all about people and the people who will move into the new dwellings liked what they saw yesterday.

The Dalton Street complex is an example of what social housing can do to transform lives.

From the young to the elderly, the reaction of new tenants was of joy and relief. Joy because many had waited a long time for somewhere suitable to live, relief because there can be few things in life more stressful than not knowing whether your current accommodation is secure.

That insecurity ended for several people yesterday when they knew they finally had a place to call home.

For one wheelchair-bound young woman the move will mark a turning point in her life as she moves from nursing home accommodation into a unit designed with her mobility in mind.

For others, having their own home in Orange will mean being able to maintain family contact and reconnect with the community.

For these families it undoubtedly means an enormous improvement in their quality of life.

For the community as a whole it means breaking down the divisions between private and social housing and reducing many of the social problems that were common in traditional public housing models.

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