On 25 February the NSW Government will auction Darling House, the Millers Point community’s aged care home.
“The Rocks Cottage Type Hospital” (later Darling House) was the first major project of the newly formed Millers Point Resident Action Group in 1975. After much community effort a lease was signed with the State for the current site in1983. During that time funds were raised through “raffles and jumble sales of chocolate wheels, and games of housie.” (Darling House – A Community Achievement – Shirley Fitzgerald 2015 )
By 1993 the Committee had approval of capital funding from the Federal government for $500,000 with the then State Liberal government promising a matching amount, the City Council promising $20,000 and a matching $20,000 from the community. At that time the State Housing Commission “couldn’t believe the value they got for their $500,000.” (Shirley Fitzgerald)
Now in 2016, the State expects to reap $6 million – quite a gift from the Millers Point community which is currently being decimated by that same State.
In 2014 the government indicated that instead of a “peppercorn” rent of $50 p.a. the full market rent would be charged – hundreds of thousands of dollars.
Darling House closed in 2015, just twenty years after it had opened.
Apart from the uncosted community time and effort, specific payments of over $200,000 have been noted, as well as about $500,000 for ongoing maintenance.
On one estimate the community holds at least a 20% equity in the property, which if sold for $6 million would equal $1.2 million.