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SMDA Releases Affordable Housing Details

Since 2006 the RWA had a policy for collecting affordable housing developer contributions in Redfern Waterloo but had no public policy about what it meant by affordable housing or how it would be managed. With $33m expected to be in the kitty by 2013 the Sydney Metropolitan Development Authority (SMDA) has now placed its Redfern Waterloo Draft Affordable Rental Housing Strategy 2011-2030 on public exhibition until 24 May 2012 reports Geoff Turnbull in the May 2012 edition of The South Sydney Herald.

The SMDA strategy has dropped early RWA references to home ownership and concentrates exclusively on rental housing within the framework of the existing NSW Affordable Housing Guidelines. Similar to the way City West runs housing from Pyrmont Waterloo contributions to Council, the SMDA propose its affordable housing be owned and managed by an existing community housing provider. It has started an expression of interest process to select a provider.

The strategy expects the SMDA to have $86m in contributions by 2036 to provide around 182 affordable housing units in addition to the 62 planned by the Aboriginal Housing Company and the 700 proposed in BEP2. The SMDA draft proposes placing a levy on all private developments in the BEP2 area adding this to the $32m it receives from the CUB site as part of the RWA Legislation and $35.4m expected from the development of BEP1 sites. It does not indicate how the 700 proposed in BEP2 will be funded.

The SMDA Strategy foreshadows a review of the 2006 contributions plan increasing the number of units by reducing average unit sizes from 100sq.m to 80-85sq.m. The SMDA Strategy conservatively estimates by 2036 there will be an increase of 7930 dwellings in Redfern, Waterloo, Eveleigh and Darlington of which 5500 will be from BEP1 and 2. This is expected to result in a population increase of over 15,000 residents above the 2006 population.

What is Affordable Housing?

Affordable housing is defined in 2011-12 as housing that meets the needs of households on very low income (<$34,400), low income (<$55,000) or moderate income (<$82,500) but which does not consume more that 30% of net household income so households are able to meet other basic living costs. Public housing is restricted to very low and low incomes with vacant housing allocated to those with the greatest need. Affordable housing has a required mix. The SMDA strategy will give priority to lower income workers or households, indigenous households, people who are homeless or at risk of homelessness and young families or workers on low incomes (but specifically not student housing).

(Also see the SSH companion piece on Affordable Housing at North Eveleigh at Affordable Housing in North Eveleigh by 2015)

More details on North Eveleigh and Affordable Housing Strategy Exhibitions can be found at www.smda.nsw.gov.au

Source: The South Sydney Herald May 2012 – www.southsydneyherald.com.au