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Major redevelopment to improve public housing in Waterloo - 25.10.2005

The following Media Release was issued on 25th October by Cherie Burton Minister for Housing concerning a $880,000 conversion of 28 bid sit units in Matavia and Turunga in Phillip Street, Waterloo. The text of the media release follows.

Minister for Housing
Minister Assisting the Minister for Health (Mental Health)

Embargoed 5am October 25, 2005

Major redevelopment to improve public housing in Waterloo

NSW Minister for Housing, Cherie Burton, today announced a major redevelopment of two high-rise public housing complexes in Waterloo, dramatically improving the standard of the homes.

The $880,000 project is part of the Iemma Government’s $30 million a year plan to boost the standard of public housing in the Central Sydney area.

Ms Burton made the announcement while visiting the complexes – Matavia and Turunga --  in Phillip Street, Waterloo.

The redevelopment involves the conversion of 28 bed-sit units into improved one-bedroom apartments.

Improvements include:

           Creation of separate bedroom;

           Refurbished bathroom;

           New kitchen; and

           New carpet.

Ms Burton said that the idea to re-model the bed-sits into one bedroom units came from consultation with tenants.

“These conversions are a practical solution to the challenge of providing better housing in Redfern-Waterloo,” Ms Burton said.

“Bedsit apartments no longer meet the needs of public housing tenants – so we have embarked on a program to convert them into one-bedroom homes.

“Adding a bedroom might seem like a small thing, but it will make a big difference to the lives of the residents in these homes.

“These new homes will offer a better standard of living, which encourages tenants take care of their homes and be a part of the community.”

Ms Burton said that the need to re-develop the units came from discussion with the residents.

“We want to make sure that the public housing tenants in Redfern-Waterloo are fully-involved in all the decisions we make about housing in the area.

“This idea has come from them, and the Iemma Government is responding.”

Ms Burton said that innovative design has meant that there will be no loss of housing in the area as a result of these improvements.

“Residents will get a better place to live with no loss of housing,” Ms Burton said.

In the past, bedsits have been converted to one bedroom homes by combining two bedsits.

“But here, smart design means that we start with 28 bedsits and finish with 28 one-bedroom homes.”

Current residents will be re-located in the area while the project is being completed and will have the first right of refusal on the new apartments.

This project will be evaluated once the tenants have moved into their new homes, and if their feedback is positive, the concept will be extended to other buildings that contain this style of home.