Monday, November 28, 2016

Proposed rezoning of Arncliffe, Banksia and Cooks Cove

The NSW Department of Planning and Environment is seeking feedback on their proposed Bayside West Precincts Land Use and Infrastructure Strategy, including through an online survey here.

From the Planning and Environment website:
The Bayside West Precincts Land Use and Infrastructure Strategy is now on exhibition until 28 February 2017. We are keen to hear more about what you think is important for the precinct and the strategy.
And in a media release today, Social Housing Minister Brad Hazzard suggests this includes plans to "boost social housing in Arncliffe" with the proposed redevelopment of a Land and Housing Corporation site. The proposal would see 142 one, two and three bedroom public housing dwellings demolished to make way for up to 600 new private, affordable and social housing dwellings, using the Communities Plus renewal model.

The full media release is reproduced below:
30 PER CENT BOOST TO ARNCLIFFE SOCIAL HOUSING
More social and affordable housing and new private housing is on the way with the proposed redevelopment of a Land and Housing Corporation site in Arncliffe. 
Minister for Social Housing Brad Hazzard said sites big and small across the state were being redeveloped under the Communities Plus program. 
“We are taking tired old housing in Arncliffe, partnering with the private sector and community housing providers to redevelop it at no cost to taxpayers – and getting 30 per cent more new social housing, along with affordable and private housing. 
“It’s a win-win for existing tenants who will get the new homes and for vulnerable families and individuals on the waiting list needing new homes. 
“All the evidence is that mixed communities deliver better social outcomes and residents of Eden Street, Arncliffe will benefit from the new opportunities coming their way.” 
The proposed rezoning of the site is part of a larger exhibition by the Department of Planning and Environment of a proposed rezoning to precincts within Arncliffe, Banksia and Cooks Cove. 
The site currently has 142 social housing units, a mix of studios, 1, 2, and 3 bedroom homes. Under new proposals, the site could be re-zoned and replaced with a mix of up to approximately 600 private, affordable and social housing dwellings. 
Mr Hazzard said housing officers had great experience helping vulnerable tenants through temporary relocations, before tenants moved back on site into new homes. Tenants will be assisted and kept informed of timelines, and are encouraged to view the draft plans and give their feedback. 
Communities Plus will deliver up to 23,000 new and replacement social housing dwellings, 500 affordable housing dwellings and up to 40,000 private dwellings over a 10 year period, in a $22 billion investment program with the private and not-for-profit sectors. 
Other major sites already announced as part of the Communities Plus program include Ivanhoe, Telopea, Riverwood and Waterloo.

Tenants money builds affordable housing

A recent media release from the Minister for Social Housing, Brad Hazzard, refers to the NSW Government committing $270million to affordable housing projects during the first four rounds of the now discontinued National Rental Affordability Scheme.

A portion of that $270million comes from tenants' money.

Pages 28 and 29 of the Rental Bond Board's 2015/16 Annual Report show grants and subsidies in the amount of $2.5million going to NRAS in both 2015 and 2016.

The Minister's media release is reproduced here in full:
NEW AFFORDABLE HOUSING FOR 65 FAMILIES 
Some Sydneysiders who have been struggling to rent have been able to move into brand new affordable housing in Sydney’s west, paying rents at least 20 per cent below the market rate. 
Minister for Family and Community Services and Social Housing, Brad Hazzard has officially opened the new Bridge Housing development at the Bungarribee estate in Blacktown. 
“The NSW Government has forged very close ties with the Community Housing Sector, both in the provision of social housing and affordable housing, and I am delighted that Bridge Housing has been able to support so many people with this development,” Mr Hazzard said. 
CEO of Bridge Housing, John Nicolades, said “We are delighted to have completed our first major affordable housing development, providing 65 well designed and energy efficient homes to families struggling in Sydney’s difficult housing market.
“We have another two projects that will deliver a further 47 affordable homes by December 2016.”
 
Bridge Housing’s $25 million development has been built on land purchased from UrbanGrowth NSW in 2013, with the support of $1.8 million in FACS funding and incentives and funds from the Commonwealth through the National Rental Affordability Scheme (NRAS). 
New figures from FACS shows that a record 1,252 new affordable rental homes were delivered under the NRAS in 2015-16, bringing the total number to 4,653.
NSW committed around $270 million during the first four NRAS rounds, with NSW’s contribution attracting over $1 billion in additional funding commitments from Community Housing Providers and private sector investors.
 
Thirty-one of the homes owned by Bridge will be permanent affordable housing; thirty-four have been sold to private investors to help fund the project, and are leased as affordable housing for the next 10 years.

Central to Eveliegh: urban transformation strategy released

UrbanGrowth NSW has released a strategy document outlining a vision for the Central to Eveleigh corridor:
UrbanGrowth NSW has developed an Urban Transformation Strategy for around 50 hectares of government-owned land in and around the rail corridor from Central to Erskineville Stations. 
After two years of studies, assessments and conversations with the community, we’ve finalised the Strategy as an important reference document to help guide development over the next 20 to 30 years. 
The Strategy contains an ambition, vision and the ten key moves that set the framework for the future delivery of more homes alongside better public transport, new parks and community facilities. 
During the development of the Strategy, a number of major NSW Government policy and infrastructure announcements have been made, including new Sydney Metro stations at Waterloo and Central, the new Communities Plus initiative to renew social housing and the establishment of the Greater Sydney Commission to lead district planning across Sydney. 
The purpose of the Strategy has changed, from 2014 to now, in response to these announcements. It now informs the Greater Sydney Commission’s draft Central Sydney District Plan and will also be used as an important reference document for future planning in the area. 
It will not be a statutory document, or a re-zoning proposal. The Strategy takes a smart city thinking approach to sustainable growth for Sydney’s future and outlines the contribution that government-owned land can play in this future.
The strategy countenances 10 key moves:
We have developed 10 key moves, shaped by consultation with the community and our partners, that we think can help us achieve the vision for the area. Together they will contribute to the long term success of the city and improve the way people live, work and enjoy life, as well as create new homes and jobs.
1. Renew Redfern Station and connect Redfern to Wilson Street
This key move will see Redfern Station Precinct as more than just a place to catch a train. Redfern Station will better connect the University of Sydney with Australian Technology Park to drive economic development.
2. Create a green network
Under this key move, a green network in a busy area of Sydney will encourage people to get active and enjoy an abundance of public open space, all networked around green, leafy and more attractive streets.
3. Create walking and cycling connections across the railway corridor
Under this key move, the rail corridor will be less of a barrier for pedestrians and cyclists – it will be easier to connect across neighbourhoods. Community and education facilities will become more accessible to all the communities.
4. Connect the city with surrounding places
This key move is about the design and layout of the local road network, which can better balance the need for local activity and regional movements.
5. Deliver a new metro station at Waterloo
This key move reflects the NSW Government’s announcement that Waterloo will be the location of a new Sydney Metro station. This will provide a high-frequency public transport service that directly links to jobs at Barangaroo, Martin Place and north-west Sydney.
6. Create centres of activity around stations
This key move will give the local community access day-to-day and community services and employment right near the stations – with shops, services, cultural places and work environments promoting activity in public areas that are safe day and night.
7. Create a centre for Sydney's growing economies
This key move will better connect the University of Sydney, Australian Technology Park, University of Technology, Sydney, Ultimo, Redfern and Surry Hills. It aims to establish an exciting centre, with a cluster of new, innovative and creative jobs that will benefit from links with education and medical facilities, easy connections to the CBD, and dynamic new workplaces in adaptively re-used heritage spaces.
8. Strengthen arts, culture and heritage
This key move will bring the area’s unique culture and heritage to life, often in beautifully restored, older buildings that will attract visitors to an exciting, revitalised arts and cultural hub that also emphasises the area’s Aboriginal history.
9. Integrate new high-density mixed use buildings with existing neighbourhoods and places
Transformed neighbourhoods will set a benchmark for integrating different types of buildings and structures, old and new, and will promote a variety of uses. Excellence in design quality, density done well principles including sensible transitions from taller buildings around stations and key locations along the rail line, down to existing one or two storey buildings, will respect everything that is great about the traditional character of surrounding neighbourhoods.
10. Deliver a diversity of housing choice, tenure and price points
This key move will provide more options for different people who want to live in this area. This will help retain its unique diversity, attracting different types of people and enabling long-term residents to stay in their local communities.
Find the full strategy document here.

Thursday, November 3, 2016

Who is the landlord in this brave new world?


With the foreshadowed, large-scale transfers of public housing stock to the community housing sector, the question arises as to who is the landlord.

Read our answer to this question here.

Learning from tenants' experience




Previously we wrote about Alan Morris's brief prepared by Shelter NSW entitled 'A contemporary forced urban removal: The displacement of public housing residents from Millers Point, Dawes Point and the Sirius Building by the New South Wales Government' here .

On 31 October 2016 Shelter NSW and Tenants' Union of NSW held a forum to discuss the implications of this report. The theme of the forum was 'Large-scale relocations of tenants in public housing - learning from tenants' experience'. The presentations are available here.

Alternatively, just click the following links:

Alan Morris - Overview of the report, A Contemporary Forced Urban Removal: The Displacement of Public Housing Residents from Millers Point, Dawes Point and the Sirius Building by the New South Wales Government. Available here

Paul Vevers (Family and Community Services Housing NSW) - Reply to Report on Millers Point Relocations. Available here

Waterloo screening at 107 Projects

At the end of last year the Premier announced plans for the redevelopment of the Waterloo Public Housing Estates as part of Communities Plus.  The Waterloo community, especially public housing residents, responded quickly to ensure their voices will be heard throughout the planning process. This has included, though not at all limited to, setting up a platform for documenting and sharing residents’ concerns about the future of Waterloo via the website We Live Here.

Next week 107 Projects will be hosting a screening event of Tom Zubrycki’s documentary Waterloo from 1981.  Waterloo provides an important account of residents’ campaign to save the area from slum clearance and redevelopment by public housing authorities through the 1970s.



The event will also screen an early trailer for a documentary currently being filmed - We Live Here 2017 – that aims to tell the story of people who live in public housing at Waterloo now and the place they call home.

Details for the event:
WHEN: 6.30pm - 8 Nov 2016
WHERE: 107 PROJECTS
COST: DONATION

As the organisers of the event explain: “With the impending threat of destruction by the state government, narratives around sense of place and cultural heritage have never been more relevant.”

Wednesday, October 12, 2016

Millers Point Update October 2016





There has been considerable recent media coverage of the forced relocation of residents of Millers Point. Elsewhere we reported on Professor Alan Morris's Shelter Brief entitled 'A contemporary forced urban removal: The displacement of public housing residents from Millers Point, Dawes Point and the Sirius Building by the New South Wales Government'.

Ann Arnold of ABC's Radio National provides excellent coverage of 'the battle over Sydney's heart' in Millers Point. Her 'Background Briefing' segment runs for 40 minutes and you can hear it here.  It first was broadcast on Background Briefing at 8am on Sunday, 9 October. The transcript is now up. Click on ‘Show transcript’ here.  An article about this story is found here.

Ann Arnold and Tiger Webb, also of ABC's Radio National, write about the last days at Millers Point of Florence, Cherie and Barney, some of the few residents left.  Read their stories here.

And, the rally to save the Sirius Building, on which there is now a Green Ban, attracted over a thousand protesters. View this story here.

An update on the statistics of Millers Point ...

You will find the breakdown of properties, tenancies and number of resident at the start of the sale process in
SGS Economics & Planning, 'Millers Point and The Rocks: An alternative way forward', Final report, August 2014, Table 1 (Social housing breakdown), p 4. At the outset there were 293 properties, 543 tenancies, 410 occupied tenancies and 590 tenants and household members.  Along the way, Darling House, an aged care facility, also was sold.
Sales  

At 27 October 2016, 105 properties have been sold for $288.09M with a median sale price of $2.46M and sales in the range $1.54M and $7.70M. Based upon sales to date, a revised and updated estimate of funds to be received from these sales is $689.89M.
The stamp duty owed to the NSW Government from existing sales is a further $14.86M or just under 5% of total revenue from sales and stamp duty combined.

There are still 189 properties to be sold, including 79 in the Sirius building. (This figure includes 28 units in a fewer number of properties where sales were ‘deferred’ and the remaining residents at this time given an option of applying for tenancies in these units.)  A further 28 properties are currently list for sale: 13 through Expression of Interest that closed on 1 November 2016, a block of 7 properties to be sold in one line at auction on 30 November 2016 and 8 (2 lots of 2 to be sold as single properties) at auction on 30 November 2016. All proposed sales are displayed here.

Residents

At the meeting of Millers Point Estates Advisory Board on 10 October 2016 Housing NSW reported:
•    399 tenancies in the portfolio.
•    353 have been vacated.
•    Of the 46 remaining tenancies to be relocated, 42 (numbering 59 tenant and household members) are from FACS Housing NSW and 4 (numbering 5 people) are from Little Real Estate.
•    16 of the 46 remaining tenancies (including 2 from the Sirius Building) involve residents approved for moving into alternative accommodation (6 staying within Millers Point and 10 outside Millers Point).
•    30 tenancies (numbering  42 people) are still to be rehoused.
•    15 properties set aside for remaining people remain unallocated, although one of these involves a possible allocation.
Of the remaining 30 tenancies, 5 are in the Sirius Building.

The above information tells us that at 10 October 2016, 42 residents are still to be rehoused, and since March 2014 a total of 548 (590 less 42) - or thereabouts - residents have been moved.

(Note there are differences in our sources. Firstly, there is a difference of 14 in the number of properties marked for sale: SGS's table reports 293 properties to be sold, whereas we refer to 279 properties sold or to be sold. Secondly, there is a difference of 11 in the number of 'occupied tenancies' in  SGS's table  and the number of 'tenancies in the portfolio' reported on by Housing NSW at the Millers Point Estates Advisory Board. The figures here are 410 and 399 respectively.)


Revised and updated on 6 November 2016