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Redfern redevelopment consortium announces targets for social and non-private housing

Ten years after the demolition of its public housing, plans for revival have finally been announced.

Image courtesy of Adam Taylor.

The NSW Government has announced that community housing provider Bridge Housing will be tasked with a $230 million housing project at 600-660 Elizabeth Street, Redfern in partnership with developer Capella Capital.

Earlier last week, Bridge Housing announced various housing targets for the site. These include 100 social housing units owned by the NSW Land and Housing Corporation (LAHC), 40 affordable homes for very low to moderate income families, 11 specialist disability homes, and 80 affordable units for key workers. 

Additionally, 10% of the units will be made available for First Nation peoples, fulfilling one of the three demands from the Redfern-Waterloo Aboriginal Affordable Housing Campaign.

The development is also projected to include 100 units for private market sale and 39 “additional […] affordable homes” owned by Bridge Housing.

While the details are subject to change, currently less than one third of the homes will be privately sold.

Existing public housing on the site was demolished in 2013 and has stood as a vacant lot ever since. There have been numerous unsuccessful attempts to approach redevelopment over the past decade. Most recently and prominently, the build-to-rent method stood as the preferred approach for three years but was revised in 2021 to use the more profitable build-to-sell concept. 

The LAHC claims that this method “allows for more homes for people in need”.

Jenny Leong, Greens Member for Newtown, publicly commented that the site “should remain 100% public housing […] like it was a decade ago”.

She criticised the “years of incompetence from the NSW Liberal-National government” that caused the project’s decade-long delay.

More than 50,000 households are on the waiting list for public or social housing in NSW. This number is expected to escalate as the cost of living increases and housing developments with significant numbers of social and affordable homes do not. 

Construction is projected to begin in 2025 and conclude in 2028. Bridge Housing plans to prioritise re-housing those evicted during the nearby Waterloo South redevelopment once construction is complete.