Habilis is a Sydney based organisation that will build and run long term accommodation for people who have become homeless due to severe mental illness. 

Habilis intends to develop purpose-built developments of individual studio-style apartments that provide physical security, access to support services, and the opportunity to learn to live independently, with the aim of overcoming the barriers to accommodation experienced by many people facing chronic homelessness. Habilis residents will be provided with regular visits by a range of service providers and given assistance in maintaining an independent lifestyle.

The first site in a series of planned projects is at Parramatta Road in Summer Hill. On completion, the building will see the realisation of the first NSW example of a much-needed housing model based on successful service precedents in Finland, Italy and Victoria.

The units themselves will be 20-30 m2 with a small bathroom, basic cooking facilities and a balcony. The development will incorporate 20 units to create an efficient but manageable cluster. The site will have a secure perimeter, a caretaker unit, an office, a laundry, and common areas and gardens for community activity.

Habilis aims to create a sustainable solution by aligning the interests of people experiencing homelessness, all parties involved in their welfare, and investors. This cooperative model logically relies on goodwill to provide the environment for this. 

The Summer Hill design incorporates the adaptive reuse of existing buildings used until recently as a furniture factory, along with the construction of new additions to create a pleasant secluded environment focussed around a landscaped courtyard with direct visual connection to the Hawthorne Canal GreenWay adjacent.

The development was approved by Inner West Council in June 2020, with construction completion anticipated for 2024.

Collins and Turner
Gallagher Studio
Structure Engineering