Catholic Homes for the Elderly Inc. (“Catholic Homes”) was established in 1960 as the Catholic Housing Guild under the auspices of the Archdiocese of Melbourne. It was incorporated as a legal entity in its own right and adopted its current name in 1989. It is an agency of the Melbourne Archdiocese. The Directors are appointed by the Archbishop.
With the benefit of Federal Government capital grants under the Aged and Disabled Person’s Homes Act, Catholic Homes built 321 one and two bedroom independent living units clustered in 20 blocks between 1961 and 1977 on land that it had purchased. It also assisted the Carmelites to build another block of 16 units in 1976 and it has managed these ever since. The independent living units were and are for retired people with limited financial means.
More recently Catholic Homes constructed a block of 10 two-bedroom resident-funded units in North Fitzroy known as St Thomas Close. This is being used as a model for further and larger village developments currently being planned. Catholic Homes also manages a block of 9 resident-funded units in Eltham owned by Our Lady Help of Christians Parish.
In 1989 Catholic Homes extended its services into residential aged care when it built and opened St Joseph’s Hostel in Hawthorn. This facility was built on lands leased from the local Catholic Parish. Also in 1989 it took over the operation of St Catherine’s Hostel and Nursing Home in Balwyn from the Sisters of Charity. This facility is owned by the Archdiocese. It has subsequently been extended and now cares for 59 hostel residents and 30 nursing home residents.
In 1993 Catholic Homes was invited by the Parish of St John Vianney, Springvale North to take over the management of their 52-place facility, John R Hannah Hostel, in Mulgrave. This facility continues to be managed under a renewable contract.
In 1994 Catholic Homes finished building and opened St Bernadette’s Hostel (initially 50 places) in North Sunshine. This facility is on land leased from the local Parish. In 1998 this facility was supplemented by the construction of an adjoining 30-place nursing home. This was the last facility to receive capital assistance from the Federal Government.
Also in 1994, Catholic Homes was asked to take over the operation of Providence Hostel on land owned by Netherlands Providence Elderly Citizen’s Home in Bacchus Marsh. Part of this arrangement was that Catholic Homes funded and completed an extension to the facility in 1995 to take the number of places to 58.
In June 2002, the Missionary Sisters of the Sacred Heart transferred the 58-place St Joseph Towers Aged Care Facility in Kew to Catholic Homes. This facility was closed on 31 August 2004. The site has been sold by the Missionary Sisters of the Sacred Heart to a developer. The bed licences from St Joseph’s Tower will transfer to the Clayton Development.