Battle for Waterloo

The proposal to redevelop the Waterloo South Estate is ‘one of the state’s most significant redevelopment projects’ according to the NSW Government. 
We agree. There is lot at stake for the current public housing residents, future residents, local communities and the broader city and state.

Shelter NSW has recently called on its extensive network of members and associates, friends and allies of the Waterloo Community to join us in what feels like one last very important step before the ‘planning envelope’ is set for this site.

The Waterloo South Proposal is now on Publication Exhibition until 29 April, 2022. Planning approval would see a vastly denser precinct of over 3,000 dwellings on (current) public land with just 28.2% social housing dwellings and 7.5% affordable rental dwellings. Naturally, Shelter NSW will be making a submission. 
We will be calling on the Government to:

  1. increase its commitment to social and affordable housing to at least 30% social housing and 20% affordable rental housing (of residential floorspace) commensurate with the current and growing demand for social housing and to support key community and social sector workers (nurses, teachers, police, paramedics, social workers, legal officers including from local Aboriginal services) to remain living in the area
  2. commit to demonstrating a superior environmental performance in the redeveloped estate (beyond minimum compliance) to support the long-term resilience of the community
  3. apply a more innovative commercial and funding model to the development of this site reducing the need for the Land and Housing Corporation to sell 100% of the public land to private developers (as described in recent Shelter NSW research and advocacy)
  4. reconfirm how a future estate of this density can, over time, support a vulnerable social housing community by commissioning a Social Impact Assessment (and risk mitigation plan) as part of the planning proposal (i.e before the DA stage).
Image via the NSW Department of Planning and Environment

Some of these items and a number of others have already been noted by the City of Sydney in its Draft Council Submission on Waterloo South (prior to the City’s April 4 Transport, Heritage, Environment and Planning Committee). Other issues concern the availability of a possible 10% increase in floor space (available via a design excellence process). This may result in an even larger development and was not understood by the local community. We commend the City for its ongoing advocacy and support of a larger social and affordable housing community within the city.