9 March 2023

NSW Labor has committed $20 million to build the state’s first Haven residence for people with significant mental health challenges, if it wins election this month. 

If elected, the Labor Government will build three Haven residences in total – starting with one on the Central Coast. 

The Haven Foundation residences feature self-contained units with shared common areas, combining high quality, long-term housing with mental health support.  

Rose Jackson, NSW Shadow Minister for Housing and Homelessness, made the announcement on Friday 10 March 2023. 

“People with disabilities or severe mental illness are more likely to experience homelessness and our investment in social and affordable housing for this vulnerable group will change lives,” Ms Jackson said. 

The Haven Foundation, a subsidiary of mental health service provider Mind Australia, welcomed the announcement. 

Mark Heeney, Executive Director Housing Strategy for The Haven Foundation and Mind Australia, said Haven residences reduce hospitalisations and homelessness for people with significant mental health challenges.  

“Our residences provide stability, security and recovery focused support,” Mr Heeney said. 

“These residences enable people with significant long-term mental health issues to lead successful and fulfilling lives in the community.”

There are six Haven multi-unit housing residences across Victoria, with several more in development.

Planning is also underway for the first Haven residence in South Australia.  

Domain’s Rental Report shows that the New South Wales Central Coast has higher levels of low-income households in rental stress (61%) than the rest of New South Wales, highlighting the need for integrated social housing and support solutions – like The Haven Foundation model - in the region.

Joscelyn and Neil Murphy welcomed the announcement on behalf of – a community not-for-profit organisation driven by people who have family members or friends who live with mental health and wellbeing concerns. 

Mr Murphy, who has experience of caring for someone with mental ill-health, said there is a shortage of suitable housing on the Central Coast, which leaves older carers in a helpless position. 

“Who will care for my son or daughter with a mental illness when I’m no longer capable or have died? This is the concern of so many older carers in the community,” Mr Murphy said. 

“To have secure and well-kept housing in a caring environment is essential for those who struggle daily with a mental illness. It will mean a longer and more fulfilling life, with the joy of friendship, good medical attention and the possibility of rehabilitation. 

“The thought that loved ones will live in isolation without companionship or care is too hard to contemplate.” 

The NSW state election is on Saturday 25 March. 

For more information or to arrange an interview with Mind Executive Director Housing Strategy Mark Heeney, please contact Acting Mind Communications Manager Keagan Ryan at [email protected] or on 0408 619 668. 

About Mind Australia and The Haven Foundation 

Mind Australia supports people experiencing mental health and wellbeing concerns to find help, hope and purpose in their lives. 

We partner with health, community, and government organisations to provide holistic support and a safe environment for people experiencing mental health and wellbeing concerns to live in the community.  

Mind is one of the leading specialist community housing providers in Australia for people experiencing a psychosocial disability.    

The Haven Foundation residences have operated in Victoria since 2011. There are currently six residences providing a home, stability and support to more than 90 people in Victoria, with more in development.   

The Haven Foundation residences provide high quality, long-term housing with specialised 24/7 mental health support from Mind to help people live life to the fullest. This integrated social housing and support service is a partnership between Mind and The Haven Foundation – a subsidiary of Mind. 

If you would like more information about Mind services, please contact us by submitting a form via Mind Connect or phone: 1300 286 463. 

If this information raises concerns for you, please call Lifeline on 13 11 14. Aboriginal and Torres Straits Islanders can also call 13 YARN (13 92 76) a 24/7 national crisis support telephone service staffed by Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander peoples.