It takes a village: building connections in community housing

Our small block has become a micro-community through the small connections between four families that live here. In some ways, living in a small block is like living with your neighbours. It is the sum of many small moments, like greeting one another with a smile, asking how our day is, taking each other’s bins out and walking kids to school together that has created a strong community of people who care about one another. It’s something that has evolved organically over time. It is this connection that helps us feel secure, part of a community and at home.

My neighbours and I know each other by name. We look out for one another, check in on one another, and genuinely care for one another. On the odd occasion one of us runs out of sugar or milk, we can always turn to each other for help or a lift to school on rainy days. There’s no doubt in my mind that if anything ever happened or I needed help, my neighbours would be there, as I would be for them.

For me, I had never had a place that truly felt like home. My upbringing and early adult life were a constantly revolving door of different rentals, and more years than not featured a removalist truck and cardboard boxes. After five years, I’ve lived here longer than anywhere else in my life and finally found a sense of what it means not just to call a place home, but to feel at home. I feel a sense of belonging in these four walls, a sense of connection to my neighbours, and a sense of being a part of my local community.

We all moved into a new development by Housing Choices within the space of a few weeks back in 2017, and we’ve been creating connections built on mutual respect and kindness with one another ever since. One family on our block recently moved, leaving a vacancy that won’t last long, with many in need of secure, affordable housing. Although they will be missed, we look forward to welcoming our new neighbours into the fold.

This story was written by Housing Choices resident Carly