General Information

Housing Dept and its weasel words

This excerpt from the submission to council for demolition

Shameful document showing the massive hyprocrisy of the Housing Dept.



The development of new social housing on the Cowper Street site will provide a number of social benefits. The first two of these benefits, namely the increased capacity to meet housing need and the ability to provide more appropriate housing assistance, have been discussed at 5.2 above. In addition to these, the following benefits will be achieved:

  • Improved amenity – the proposed development will lead to significant improvements in streetscape, dwelling and site amenity in the estate, through the construction of new housing and improved road layouts. It is also expected that market-driven facilities, such as shopping/medical/recreational will be injected into the estate and/or in the adjoining vicinity following the completion of these well designed, environmentally sustainable housing developments. The project consists of blocks with built courtyards, substantial planting, extensive paved areas, lifts, communal entertaining areas, and roof spaces with drying spaces and clothesline. The apartments have balconies, north facing rooms and fencing that separate them from communal areas. The courtyards increase the length of perimeter wall, number of windows, sunlight and air to achieve cross ventilation.
  • The creation of a mixed community – The proposed development would provide a mix of housing tenures (50% market housing, 32% social housing and 18% affordable housing). Research has shown that increasing the mix of housing tenures in an area is an outcome which underpins housing-led regeneration programs across Australia. This can result in a

whole range of benefits including increased tenant satisfaction, economic participation, educational opportunities and improvements in health outcomes (Australian Housing and Urban Research Institute Research Synthesis Service, March 2009).

The overall social benefit for the entire Glebe estate from the proposed development is measured at almost $9.3 million per annum. The total return from a present value perspective, over 25 years, is calculated to be $108.2 million.

Evaluation by Housing NSW of the range of options for estate renewal has found that these benefits could not be achieved by simply renovating, upgrading or extending the existing social housing stock. Upgrading alone would only lead to a social benefit in the low/medium to medium range, while partial redevelopment increases it to medium/high to high. However, redevelopment within the existing planning controls for the site would not provide the optimum yield for the land and the contemplated mix of housing tenures. Furthermore, the relatively low yield would not attract a joint venture partner from the private sector.


One of the key drivers for the proposed development is the need to increase the supply of affordable rental housing with the City of Sydney. As explained in 5.1 above the delivery of affordable housing will be achieved through the transfer of Housing NSW land to a not for profit developer which will use its own funds mixed with debt finance and grant funding from the NSW and Commonwealth Governments to develop 83 units of affordable rental housing.

A recent study into the supply of low cost rental housing in Australia found that “Among capital cities, Sydney stands out as the least affordable for low-income private renters. Not only does Sydney have a severe shortage of affordable stock (one available stock for every seven low-income households); it also has the worst situation in terms of stock availability (one affordable and available stock for every 15 low-income private renters)”. The shortage of low cost stock is evidenced by the very high levels of housing


Glebe Affordable Housing Project – Job No: 09070 REZ Page 4