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Building a Healthy Resilient Waterloo in inner Sydney: working with social housing tenants to develop solutions to improve health and to build a healthy future environment


Pamela Garrett

Sydney Local Health District, AU
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Waterloo is an inner Sydney, 20-hecare, public housing estate with 2,500 residents located just over 3km south of Sydney CBD. The government has determined the estate should be “renewed”  to “create sustainable mixed communities”. This controversial decision will result in a significant increase in density and a significantly change social mix/diversity in the estate.

The health service met with community representatives and crafted a four pronged evidence informed approach to improving health and wellbeing in the estate:

Developing a series of integrated and collaborative consultation/forums comprising tenants, local residents, Aboriginal residents, senior executives of government agencies, senior health workers and clinicians,  employees of major social care agencies, the housing authority to improve the current and future health and wellbeing of the estate’s residents. Two forums have been held to date with over 100 participants at each. The second forum's purpose was partly to report back to the community on the progress sicne the forst forum.

Undertaking a formal Health Impact Assessment of various aspects of the redevelopment in collaboraiton with key partners.

Appointing a Healthy Link and Navigation Worker to improve the care, information and service delivery tothe community.

Developing a straetgic plan for improving the health and wellbeing of the Waterloo community that would guide the actions and strategies of the health service, but would also provide for strong intergation and collaboraiton with other sectors. The plan has been co-produced by the community.

As part of the Strategic Plan, developing a major visible health service to replace the current appraoch of providng single service outreach and in-reach services to the estate. The plan for the health service is being co-produced by the community and social care sector as a new model of care based on population health principles, incoporating

Using a theory of change based on communty development and empowerment and aciton planning this paper will focus on developing a healthy built environment now and into the future with a very vulnerable mixed community including Aboriginal residents, non-English speaking residents, people with mental health and drug health issues, aged people. All residents of the estate have low income incomes. Many have very signficant health problems and issues.

The Paper will focus on the co-production of a visible health service that will have the following attributes:

Population health services and approaches- focusing on the social determinants of health ad wellbeing and integrating across sectors and services. The communty wil be invovled via a Community Board and through ongoing consultation and co-production.

General practice and primary care services provided within an academic framework. This component n will provide education and research across the health and medical neighbourhood, training undergraduate and postgraduate students in a new environment.

Communty-based services provdied in a geographic area including mental health, drug health, health promotion and early childhood services.

Outpatient clinics from the major tertiary hospital including cardiology, diabetes, respiratory and cancer care. 

This service will be evaluated and reviewed at every stage in collaboration with the community and partner organisations.

How to Cite: Garrett P. Building a Healthy Resilient Waterloo in inner Sydney: working with social housing tenants to develop solutions to improve health and to build a healthy future environment. International Journal of Integrated Care. 2019;19(4):459. DOI:
Published on 08 Aug 2019.


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