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City of Sydney backs public housing plan

An artist's rendering of the proposed mixed housing development. Photo: Supplied

By ALLISON HORE

The City of Sydney is backing a proposed plan for more social housing in the inner-city.

The proposed social housing development in Glebe which will spread across two sites, 17-31 Cowper Street and 2A-2D Wentworth Park Road, was initiated by the NSW Land and Housing Corporation and is being endorsed by the City of Sydney. 

The site is owned by the NSW Government’s Land and Housing Corporation and currently contains 19 social housing dwellings in two-storey town houses. The proposed plan would allow for around 35 social housing units on the property.

“The pandemic has intensified Sydney’s housing and homelessness crisis, creating an even more pressing need for social housing in the inner city,” the Lord Mayor said.

“There are around 60,000 people on the NSW Government’s waitlist, and people often wait five to ten years for social housing to become available in our local area. This simply isn’t good enough.”

The City of Sydney estimates that by 2036 there will be need for an additional 14,000 affordable and social housing dwellings. While the building and maintenance of social housing is the responsibility of the NSW Government, Ms. Moore says that the City of Sydney council is “using all levers to create more social and affordable housing for our residents.”

The proposed development will consist of three terrace houses and two eight-storey woolstore-style apartment buildings designed by architect Johnson Pilton Walker. Both buildings would have communal rooftop gardens for residents and non-residential ground floor spaces. Walker’s design was selected after a competitive process which four design teams were invited to participate in.

As well as the social housing units in the northern building, the southern building will contain approximately 39 standard market apartments. The proposal says that just under 50% of dwellings on the property will be set aside for social housing. 

To make the development possible, the City of Sydney have proposed new planning controls which will increase maximum building height and floor space ratio. The council says the proposed development is in line with the Greater Sydney Region Plan, Eastern City District Plan and the City’s local strategic planning statement which all call for more social housing.

“This is an exciting opportunity to deliver new social housing on a site close to public transport, public parkland, jobs and services,” the Lord Mayor said.

“The City is playing its part in delivering more social and affordable housing for Sydney, but we need ongoing investment from state and federal governments to truly solve our city’s homelessness crisis.”

The commonwealth government and NSW state government finalised a deal this week which will fast-track the construction of more than 780 new social and affordable homes in Sydney. The deal, reached by The National Housing Finance and Investment Corporation and NSW Land and Housing Corporation, will provide $100 million in loans and grants as part of a $1 billion National Housing Infrastructure Facility.

The proposed social housing development in Glebe will go on public exhibition following Gateway determination from the NSW Department of Planning, Industry and Environment.

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