Putting Communities Plus under the spotlight – Franklyn Street Glebe

At the end of 2020, the NSW Government Land and Housing Corporation (LAHC) was very busy putting development proposals out for comment. Shelter NSW made submissions on the Waterloo Metro Over Station DevelopmentExplorer Street, Eveleigh, Cowper Street, Glebe and, most recently, Franklyn Street, Glebe. 

Franklyn Street is a very significant proposal for yet another iconic and well-established social housing community. The development applies the Communities Plus model whereby the existing dwellings are demolished to make way for a new, usually larger mixed (social and private) development. The ratio of the new dwellings is usually 30% social and 70% private dwellings.

For a great overview of the proposal and some comments from local residents we recommend this Sydney Morning Herald article.

Image via Sydney Morning Herald
Credit: Peter Rae

As it currently stands, the proposal delivers no affordable rental housing. More concerningly, nor does it even guarantee that the final development will deliver a net increase in the number of people who will be accommodated in social housing. On this basis, Shelter NSW noted that it could not support the proposal in its current form.

Our detailed December 23, 2020, submission is available here.

When we look at all of the current major proposals we note a common theme: the proposed developments are on public land – and in some cases land that is currently used solely for social housing. We believe that these lands should work hard for the people of NSW – to maximise the number of social and affordable dwellings so that the growing social housing waiting list can be reined in.