Wentworth Park Road, Glebe, redevelopment – Continuing support for tenants

Over the past few months, the struggle to ensure that the public housing tenants of Wentworth Park Road get a fair deal has continued. Shelter NSW is proud to stand alongside these tenants and other residents of the vibrant Glebe community to push for a reversal of the State Government’s decision to demolish this site. In late September, residents of Wentworth Park Road and community supporters gathered for a BBQ in the beautiful Wentworth Park opposite the site. Our CEO, John, spoke alongside residents, activists and political representatives to express our support for a better deal for the Glebe community. Importantly, we heard from Carolyn, who is being pushed to move on from their long-term home as a result of this redevelopment plan.

Shelter NSW CEO, John Engeler, addresses Wentworth Park Road residents and supporters

We are concerned with the cumulative impact of public housing redevelopment projects across the city, as the case for each single development like Wentworth Pk Rd ignores the broader effect on the community, adding to massive wait lists during an escalating crisis of rental affordability. There are around 51,014 applicants on the NSW public housing waiting list, which could mean over 100,000 people in housing need.

Although residents are generally offered a theoretical right of return, this rarely happens in practice – as it involves at least two moves, which are hugely dislocating. Indeed, some residents of Millers Point redevelopments had to move several times because of this uncoordinated approach.

For all these reasons, it appears problematic that the development should go ahead in its current form, which will see the demolition of a building not yet 40 years old (and LAHCs own heritage destroyed), while ignoring alternative solutions. We seek to urgently meet with the relevant departments, and, as has occurred on other sites, we implore the Minister to halt any current plans. This would allow the development to be ‘reimagined’ for a much better outcome for both existing and future social housing residents of Glebe. We believe this should happen on all sites, including others such as Bay and Franklin Streets.

If you would like to help us support groups like Hands Off Glebe who are fighting to help residents like Carolyn, get in touch!