About – How MyHome in Canberra will work

Building design

It is envisaged that MyHome in Canberra will be a new building specially designed to meet the long‑term accommodation needs of people with enduring mental illness.

The current proposal is for the MyHome building to have –

  • 15 one-bedroom units, each with a bathroom plus mini-laundry and mini-kitchen,
  • a two-bedroom unit for a live-in manager, and
  • a communal area for recreation and dining, with its own kitchen and opening on an outdoor space.

While these areas will be reserved for MyHome residents, the building will also contain, on a separate floor or floors, reception and office space and indoor areas for recreational uses by residents of the affordable rental housing, and for recreational and other uses by groups from the local community. For the MyHome residents as for others, visiting those areas and participating in activities held in them will be by their own choices.

Through this combination of private areas and nearby communal areas, and through personal support, residents will be encouraged to participate in everyday activities such as cooking, cleaning, shopping and gardening, so as to increase their social inclusion and build life skills.


Some of the operating functions we proposed for a MyHome Operating Board now need to be reviewed in collaboration as a Wesley Mission team formulates plans for operating MyHome.

Wesley Mission agrees with our committee’s model of care for MyHome, as revised during our consultations in 2020-21 with ACT Health and others. In this model it’s envisaged that residents will be supported by a live-in manager, visiting support workers and a team of volunteers.

We expect that as Wesley Mission develops operating plans, its team will –

  • collaborate with mental health professionals, community organisations and others to apply the principle of co‑design with prospective residents,
  • separate its tenancy management from its personal services for residents, as in its existing facilities, and
  • welcome other agencies as providers of personal services for residents, according to residents’ own choices.

MyHome’s model of care includes a recovery framework. By providing secure long-term accommodation for people with enduring mental illness, MyHome will restore their sense of hope, self-worth, confidence and belonging. This will enable them to exercise control and choice, and to live more productive lives within the community.

Terms for residents

With Wesley Mission in the leading role as prospective operator of MyHome, the responsibility of the management committee of the MyHome association is, through active collaboration, to help see the key elements in our vision of MyHome realised.  Eligibility criteria for residents are outlined in the model of care. We hope they will be applied to applicants by a committee including people qualified by knowledge of treatment and services in the ACT for people with mental illnesses. While we recognise the need for prospective residents as a group to have enough NDIS support to make MyHome financially viable, we hope there can be flexibility as to how far NDIS eligibility is an individual requirement. We also hope that, subject to an initial probation period, residents of MyHome can have a reasonable expectation of a permanent home.

Cost and finance

The MyHome management committee worked for some years to develop a robust business plan for the operating model we envisaged. This plan has been superseded by Wesley Mission’s financial planning. Therefore as part of our collaboration with Wesley Mission, we shall work out –

  • what will be the best ways of applying the substantial amount donated over the years to the MyHome campaign, of which only a small part has been spent on preparatory work, and
  • how we can help with further fundraising from the Canberra community, since it is likely to be needed despite financial support from the ACT Government and generous provision by the Woden Valley Uniting Church of the site for MyHome.

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