An ongoing housing redevelopment project in Glebe has been labelled a misuse of public land by social housing activists.
Public housing for 280 residents in Cowper Street, Glebe was demolished to herald the development of new social housing, affordable housing and new private housing.
“The demolition was a blatant sell off of public housing land to the private market,” Greens Councillor Irene Doutney said. “The demolitions destroyed a community that had lived there for decades.
“This is in a time when there are over 52,000 people on the public housing waiting list.”
The project is jointly funded by the NSW Government through Housing NSW, and the Federal Government through the Housing Affordability fund.
“The misnamed Glebe Affordable Housing Project will include 90 affordable housing units, but will actually provide more private housing than the affordable and public housing units combined,” Ms Doutney said.
“The now demolished leafy dwellings fitted in well with the heritage nature of the area but will now become more soulless eight story residential flat buildings that will be at odds with the heritage streetscapes of the Glebe Estate.”
The redovelopment is a part of the City of Sydney’s Sustainable Sydney 2030 strategy. Hands Off Glebe spokesperson and recent Lord Mayoral candidate for Housing Action for Sydney, Denis Doherty is also opposing the demolition.
“The proposal to bulldoze the 16 properties will see the 280 people utilising the public housing, replaced with 90 social housing residents and 120 community housing residents,” Mr Doherty said.
“The bulk of the property will be privatised. The Government is using public land to make a profit and that is what we object to. If they were really going to build more sustainable public housing spaces, we wouldn’t have objected.”
Mr Doherty is campaigning to see the housing estate remain affordable.
A spokesperson for the NSW Department of Finance and Services said: “There were previously 207 social housing residents on the site. The new development can house a maximum of 344 residents.”
The spokesperson said all aspects of the plan would be subject to public consultation and Council approval.
“The social housing will be modern, well-equipped and designed specifically for the elderly and people with disabilities. In addition, the project delivers 90 new affordable dwellings for those on low to moderate incomes, which previously didn’t exist.”