A new Kanahooka retirement community is providing an affordable and supportive place for single women to live, in a model believed to be the first of its kind in Australia.
Jasmine Grove at IRT Kanahooka is a collaborative neighbourhood for women over 55 that consists of eight self-contained, one-bedroom villas set around a communal building and shared gardens.
IRT chairman Mike Halloran said women aged over 55 had lower superannuation, savings and resources than their male counterparts.
Women in this age bracket are also the fastest-growing group of people in Australia experiencing homelessness.
IRT worked with research centres in developing Jasmine Grove, and had prospective residents take part in a series of workshops and other activities to ensure the ultimate eight residents were a good match for one another.
"This to me is like going back to when I was a kid, when everyone knew each other, you looked out for each other," resident Heather Waters said.
Ms Waters said she was not looking to move when she first heard about Jasmine Grove, but her circumstances changed and she decided to apply.
After selling her house, she said, she considered moving into a unit but they were expensive, more isolating, and came with maintenance and other concerns to think about.
Ms Waters moved in almost two months ago and said she and the other residents all got along and met up regularly for drinks.
After experiencing a stroke about two years ago, Jenny Hodge thought it would be best to no longer live entirely alone.
She said the women all pitched in to look after the vegetable garden
"I'm very happy here and everybody else is too," Ms Hodge said.
The women are able to use the communal facilities at the neighbouring Henry Brooks Estate at IRT Kanahooka.
Their units are pet-friendly and all have a kitchen, living area, bedroom, bathroom, parking space and storage.
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