Sydney. What kind of city do we want?

Earlier this week, Shelter NSW spoke to the City of Sydney’s Transport, Heritage & Planning Committee regarding NSW Government plans for the development of 600-660 Elizabeth Street Redfern, which is currently on wholly public land.

According to the City of Sydney planning website, the proposed changes will increase the floor-space ratio and building height to permit redevelopment of the site for new market, affordable rental and social housing in 4 buildings, 4 to 16 stories in height. The current proposal allows for around 300 dwellings and a new 3,500 square metre community facility on Elizabeth Street. 

Our July 2021 submission challenged an earlier ‘gateway’ decision by the NSW Government that reduced the City’s proposal of minimum 40% social and affordable housing (30% social plus 10% affordable housing) to a combined 30%.
This week we reasserted our support for the broader community goal that Redfern (and its neighbouring suburbs) remain a socially diverse residential and employment population, representative of all types of income, cultural groups and family/household types.  We made a strong call that this site, on public land, ought to make a substantial contribution to increasing the stock of social and affordable rental housing in the local government area.
We reminded the Committee of the criticality of addressing housing affordability issues, especially for the local Aboriginal Community who have strong ties to the area – as residents and as key workers; a community that is being driven out by rising housing costs.

This site has attracted some interest in recent weeks with an apparent backflip by the NSW Government – reversing its original proposal that this site would pilot the Build-to-Rent approach (as described in this July 2018 The Urban Developer article and more recently here).

We will continue to call on the NSW Government to use its considerable power and finances to ensure that developments like this deliver the best outcomes for local communities and the broader city.