The City of Sydney is selling surplus land for the creation of more affordable housing in Green Square.
Lord Mayor Clover Moore said Council had approved the subsidised sale of City-owned land on the southern section of 338 Botany Road in Alexandria to the community housing provider St George Community Housing (SGCH).
“Cost of housing across metropolitan Sydney is at crisis point and we are committed to tackling it using every mechanism available to us,” the Lord Mayor said.
“Green Square is one of Australia’s largest urban redevelopments and we are on track to deliver a significant contribution of new affordable housing close to the city centre.
“We are paving the way for more affordable rental housing because we need police, teachers, cleaners and other essential workers in the city to be able to afford to live close to where they work.
“Social and affordable housing is primarily the responsibility of state governments, but we are using all the options available to us under existing planning laws to create more affordable homes.
“We could do so much more if the NSW Government would only let us extend our affordable housing scheme citywide.”
The Botany Road site has the potential to provide more than 80 affordable or social housing units as well as ground floor commercial space.
In June, the City endorsed the subsidised sale of the northern section of 338 Botany Road to community housing provider City West Housing, to be used for around 200 affordable housing units.
The subsidised sale of both sections of land represents a $5 million discount on market value.
Third-year Sydney Theatre School student Shaw Cameron is an affordable housing tenant in the SGCH Smail Street Ultimo complex. He said affordable rental housing has allowed him to live close to where he studies and find casual employment to support his living expenses.
“My course is intensive, students are expected to be at college 6am to 6pm five days per week so living close is really important,” Mr Cameron said.
“Before living in affordable housing I was living out of the city and paying a lot of rent. Having access to subsidised rent means that I can focus on my studies. Being close to the city is great for getting casual work to pay for my tuition, bills and groceries.”
The rental discount offered by SGCH has allowed Mr Cameron and his fellow tenants to each save roughly $200 per week on rent.
Scott Langford, Group CEO of SGCH, said new affordable housing in Green Square will allow more people to live, work and study in the inner city without the financial burden.
“We are very pleased to be working in partnership with the City of Sydney to deliver over 80 new social and affordable housing in a prime location with great links to transport, services and employment opportunities,” Mr Langford said.
“The new development will be financed by the Clean Energy Finance Corporation and delivered to industry leading energy efficiency standard of 7 star NatHERS or above. This will reduce the carbon footprint of the building, and for tenants, significantly reduce their energy bills. In partnership with the City and CEFC we will be delivering excellent social, economic and environmental outcomes for the community.”
Through subsidised land sales, the City of Sydney has offered discounts to community housing providers totaling more than $19.48 million.
The City’s affordable housing levies have provided more than 800 affordable rental housing units for key workers and low income earners.
The City continues to fund affordable and community housing initiatives through its grants program, including $3 million to SGCH to house and support young people at risk of homelessness and $1.5 million to HammondCare for the development of a subsidised residential aged care facility.
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Image: Student Shaw Cameron at the SGCH Smail Street Ultimo complex. Credit: SGCH.