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6. Proposed Stage Two of the Built Environment Plan

[This is the text from the above mentioned section of the RWA Redfern-Waterloo Built Environment Plan (Stage One) August 2006. Links to maps and illustrations have been included and details of the file size of the link also added to allow for easy navigation. - REDWatch]

The RWA, in partnership with the Department of Housing, proposes to commence detailed research in 2006 on the options that may exist for revitalisation of existing public housing stock and the opportunities that this may create to enhance the availability of affordable housing in Redfern-Waterloo.

Any proposals to revitalise public housing will be the subject of extensive community consultation, including during the concept formulation phase.

The NSW Government’s commitments on public housing in Redfern-Waterloo has been expressed very clearly-

  • there will be no cuts to the amount of public housing
  • current residents will not be disadvantaged
  • all public tenancies are secure.

Any work that the RWA undertakes on public housing as part of the proposed Stage Two of the Built Environment Plan will be subject to the Government’s firm guarantees and commitments to public housing tenants.

Public housing comprises 50 percent of the housing stock in the Redfern-Waterloo area and accounts for 35 percent of the residents.

Conventional wisdom these days does not support concentration of public housing. This is particularly so in the Redfern-Waterloo context, where the original concentration of low-income people in public housing, many of whom are tenants with disabilities or complex needs, has occurred in conjunction with a declining overall residential base. The social and economic sustainability of the area has been impacted as a consequence of the changing demography.

The Redfern-Waterloo Authority Act 2004 stipulates that the RWA should provide and promote housing choices in its operational area (including for Aboriginal residents). The Act also provides that the Redfern-Waterloo Plan may, in part, make provision for the maintenance of a social mix of income levels, household types and cultural groupings, as well as for the provision of affordable housing for owners and tenants (including publicly funded housing).

The primary focus of the proposed Stage Two of the Built Environment Plan will accordingly be the development of proposals to:

  • revitalise public housing stock
  • improve the associated public domain
  • reduce concentration of public housing
  • increase the local population to establish a more sustainable social mix
  • facilitate the provision of affordable housing, including a shared equity model of home ownership.