Density Done Well – Not all TODs are Equal

It is vital that the next wave of Sydney’s housing growth around stations is accompanied by commitments to boost social and affordable housing and improve access to jobs and amenities. Some station precincts already have capacity for higher density – others require deep collaborations, planning and investment to improve living conditions, respond to a heating climate and to retain low and moderate income households in the area.

Last year Shelter NSW issued this joint statement with the Planning Institute of Australia (NSW) calling for an Inclusive Renewal approach, to engage communities in more effective ways and deliver better outcomes.
Last week Shelter NSW was very happy to co-sponsor PIAs event titled – The lived Experience of Denser Housing – getting the TODs right. Speakers shared very interesting insights into the different ways to think about the places and communities currently being considered. A key observation was that while the large, accelerated precincts will be master planned the larger number of Tier 2 locations will likely not be.  This is ringing alarm bells for the general planning community and us at Shelter NSW as we know not all TODs are equal. As this brief infographic on our website illustrates, places like Wiley Park currently offer relatively low-cost housing. Without careful planning these denser precincts may see large-scale displacement of low-income households from the area.

It’s not the first time that the alarm has been raised about the potential for displacement of significant numbers of low- income residents from this corridor. The questions asked by Professor Bill Randloph in this 2016 article in The Conversation remain, as does the recommendation that substantial quantities of affordable rental housing are not only required to retain residents but are the just return on what is a multi-billion dollar public investment in the form of the Metro.

Shelter NSW CEO, John Engeler, with Chair of PIA, Sue Weatherley.