TOGA donates vacant Kensington hotel building to address youth homelessness

TOGA donates vacant Kensington hotel building to address youth homelessness
TOGA donates vacant Kensington hotel building to address youth homelessness

A building in Sydney awaiting development approval has been temporarily donated by the TOGA property group to address youth homelessness.

TOGA, in partnership with joint owner Qualitas, announced the former Addison Hotel in Kensington had transformed into pop-up accommodation for vulnerable youth.

After making available the vacant building revenue-free, it is set to house more than 42 vulnerable youth. 

TOGA has made available the former hotel to My Foundations Youth Housing for a minimum of 12 months. 

The Addison Hotel forms part of a mixed-use development proposal lodged for the site at 147 Anzac Parade and adjoining property.

The Addison Project will be operated by community housing provider My Foundations Youth Housing.

TOGA Group of Companies managing director Allan Vidor said that constructive partnerships between the private and public sectors, and sensible planning reform, had the power to address the housing challenges facing vulnerable young people in Sydney. 

TOGA donates vacant Kensington hotel building to address youth homelessness

From left to right: Brendan O’Sullivan; Qualitas Executive Director – Principal Investments, Assoc. Professor David McKenzie; My Foundations Youth Housing Chair, the Hon. Pru Goward; Minister for Family and Community Services, Mark Fischer; Qualitas Managing Director – Principal Investments and Allan Vidor, Managing Director of the TOGA Group of Companies

“By making available our building we hope to make a difference in the lives of those who stay at The Addison Project as well as inspire other property owners to consider utilising their vacant assets,” said Mr Vidor.

“Together, the private and public sectors must work toward meaningful planning reform which has the potential to unlock many opportunities to make empty buildings across Sydney immediately available to those who are experiencing, or at risk of, homelessness.

No single level of government or service can tackle youth homelessness – innovative solutions must be borne from innovative collaborations between public and private sectors, Mr Vidor added.

TOGA donates vacant Kensington hotel building to address youth homelessness

The former hotel contains 42 fully-furnished rooms, each with a bathroom and kitchenette, set across three-storeys; creating an appropriate short-term accommodation option for youth.

My Foundations Youth Housing Chair, Assoc. Professor David McKenzie said The Addison Project would provide both crisis accommodation for those at risk of homelessness and young people with a safe space to live and study while they work to secure more permanent solutions and stabilise their circumstances.

TOGA donates vacant Kensington hotel building to address youth homelessness

“The Addison Project is an excellent example of seizing an opportunity to provide a bold and innovative solution.

"Whilst not intended as a solution to homelessness, it is a positive step in the right direction while we work towards addressing the provision of housing in a practical and immediate way,” Mr McKenzie said.

The Addison Project will target youth at risk of homelessness aged between 16 and 24; with young people holding less than 2 per cent of the 140,000 Social Housing tenancies across NSW.

Family and Community Services (FACS) will refer up to 14 rooms to those in-need of Temporary Accommodation.

The Addison Project also includes an anchoring retail space where OzHarvest will open Australia’s first ever rescued food supermarket – OzHarvest Market – next month.

Ronni Kahn, CEO and Founder of OzHarvest said the Australian first would be a pop-up marketplace providing rescued food sourced from its existing local donor network and available on a ‘take what you need, pay what you can’ basis.

“We are thrilled to be part of this ground-breaking project with TOGA and are excited to be transforming the donated space into Australia’s first rescued food supermarket,” said Ms Kahn.

“The OzHarvest Market will be opening its doors soon, making sure good food does not go to waste and is available to everyone, especially to those who need it most.”

This initiative will be jointly supported by leading innovators in social enterprise Orange Sky Laundry and Thread Together who will contribute by providing vital on-site services.

TOGA donates vacant Kensington hotel building to address youth homelessness

TOGA and Qualitas acquired the site in mid-2015.

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Homeless TOGA

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