Link Wentworth CEO Andrew McAnulty.
Link Wentworth celebrates significant milestone by completing merger
Two of Sydney’s leading Tier 1 community housing providers, Link Housing and Wentworth Community Housing, have officially merged, becoming Link Wentworth Housing Ltd (Link Wentworth). Former Link Housing CEO, Andrew McAnulty, has stepped into the role of CEO with the new company, with former Housing NSW Executive, Mike Allen, appointed Chair.
The newly merged not-for-profit community housing provider has 200 staff operating from six offices across Western and Northern Sydney, with ambitious plans to drive and influence a positive change in housing policy. Link Wentworth now has capacity to scale up and do more to increase social and affordable housing in local communities. Importantly, it is also in a position to advocate for a longer-term approach to housing policy by forming financial partnerships with government and the private sector including the National Housing Finance and Investment Corporation (NHFIC), superannuation funds, local councils, State Government, builders and developers.
According to Andrew McAnulty, CEO, Link Wentworth, “A housing policy is not simply about maintaining house prices or stimulating the economy by building homes; it’s about having a forward-thinking strategic plan that acknowledges social and affordable housing as an important market segment. Allowing community housing providers to leverage their investment capacity, through partnerships with both government and the private sector, is crucial to help deliver a range of housing solutions that meet current and future demand for all Australians.
“Link Wentworth is in an exceptional position with an unencumbered balance sheet and significant capacity to leverage private finance. With our combined equity and cash, we have the ability to deliver true innovation to the local housing market through partnerships and initiatives such as ‘shared ownership’ housing for key essential workers, which would be timely in the current NSW housing market.”
Housing innovation is something Link Wentworth does well, having already introduced clever initiatives such as ‘meanwhile use’ accommodation where disused buildings are converted into short-term housing for those at risk of homelessness in partnership with Women’s Community Shelters and Twilight Aged Care, and initiatives such as the ‘Garden Flat’ program that provides smaller dwellings in collaboration with private homeowners.
Gareth Ward MP, Minister for Families, Communities and Disability Services said, “Our Government is fostering a strong and diverse community housing sector, which delivers quality services and support to some of the state’s most disadvantaged and vulnerable people. Link Wentworth will harness the life-changing work that both organisations already do, and will no doubt be a leading light as they embark on this exciting new chapter.”
Collectively, community housing providers manage more than 50,000 properties across NSW. In the last decade alone, there has been a 4,800 per cent growth in the number of homes built by the community housing sector, increasing from 68 dwellings in 2012 to 3,282 homes by May 2020.
Further growth was one of the key drivers behind the Link Wentworth merger, which will now see the organisation manage a total of nearly 6,500 homes. As a larger organisation, Link Wentworth will not only provide more homes, but also deliver more community programs to enhance the lives of tenants through a wide range of health and wellbeing initiatives.
Link Wentworth intends to expand its work with local councils in Blue Mountains, Hawkesbury, Hornsby, Lithgow, Northern Beaches, North Sydney, Penrith and Ryde, with plans to build, rebuild and improve social and affordable housing in these local areas and beyond.
A refreshing new brand identity has also been revealed, with Link Wentworth’s teal logo representing growth and renewal, with housing and communities at its core. ‘Providing homes, building futures’ is what Link Wentworth is passionate about and the significance of the merger will allow Link Wentworth to leverage its increased scale, professionalism, and capacity to complete complex investments and take a pivotal step forward for community housing.
For further information, contact:
Eva Gerencer, Link Wentworth Housing, 0427 926 588
Kim Viney, Write Away Communication, 0412 868 472
About Link Wentworth
As a newly merged organisation, Link Wentworth is committed to creating and improving housing options and services that help people facing housing stress or homelessness. Using decades of community driven experience, our work engages the full spectrum of housing needs from homelessness services, to social, disability and affordable housing. We believe everyone has a right to a safe and secure home where they can grow, connect with community and build brighter futures that create positive change. The decision to merge was based on a mutual understanding that together Link Housing and Wentworth Community Housing could achieve more by combining their operational scale and experience to help address the growing demand for affordable rental housing in New South Wales. Following the merger, Link Wentworth is now one of the largest community housing providers in Australia, managing over 6,300 homes with around 10,000 residents and 200 staff.