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Group home pioneer partners with fund to accelerate growth


Dementia and high care specialists Group Homes Australia has entered into a partnership with a property fund manager in a deal that aims to almost quadruple its number of care homes in three years.

Under the agreement Sydney-based Heathley will fund the purchase and development of Group Homes Australia (GHA) residences through its existing aged care property fund, with an initial commitment of $50 million.

GHA, which was founded in 2012, provides care for people living with dementia or high care needs in a domestic style of house catering for six to 10 residents, set within the broader community.

The provider currently has seven homes in operation and a further two in development across Sydney servicing over 50 residents aged from 45 to 100 with respite, high care, dementia care and palliative care services.

GHA general manager Jonathan Gavshon said the partnership allowed them to accelerate growth.

jonathan-gavshon

Jonathan Gavshon

“At the heart we are a care company and they are a property company so it was a really good fit,” Mr Gavshon told Australian Ageing Agenda.

“We hope it facilitates our national growth so we can bring this model to as many Australians as possible.”

The $50-million investment would buy approximately 25 homes over the next one to three years, housing 150 to 250 residents, he said.

The exact number of homes acquired under the deal would depend on the locations, which at this stage included national opportunities after an initial focus in NSW, Mr Gavshon said.

GHA is responding to demand to make the model more widely available across Australia, he said.

“We get enquiries from all over the country with families begging us to come to their suburb. We also get enquiries from hospitals, doctors and professionals all keen to connect with the model,” Mr Gavshon said.

“We are also working on creative affordable options so regardless of means, people can experience this unique model of care.”

From the investor’s perspective, Heathley managing director Andrew Hemming said the deal broadened its exposure in the aged care sector to dementia and high care residents in an innovative and exciting format.

“We feel privileged to be able to facilitate an expansion of options for those people living beyond a diagnosis of dementia in the Australian community,” Mr Hemming said.

Under the arrangement, the Heathley fund will enter into a long-term lease with GHA at each property, but the provider would continue to have sole operating responsibility of the homes.

Aside from the partnership, Mr Gavshon said GHA was continuing to work with local hospitals, palliative care teams, community care and home care providers to support further growth.

“We are finding people are coming in later, frailer and for shorter time so having flexibility of care options is critical.”

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