Lower paid to get city homes

The Sunday Telegraph (Sydney) - - NEWS - BEN PIKE UR­BAN AF­FAIRS RE­PORTER

ALL res­i­dents will be equal in a new high-rise pro­vid­ing so­cial hous­ing and af­ford­able homes for low-paid work­ers who can’t af­ford to live in cen­tral Syd­ney.

Con­struc­tion and de­vel­op­ment gi­ant Lendlease will build the 18-storey block of 160 units ad­ja­cent to Red­fern train sta­tion.

The site was sold by the City of Syd­ney Coun­cil to St Ge­orge Com­mu­nity Hous­ing on the ba­sis that the de­vel­op­ment be com­posed of so­cial and af­ford­able hous­ing.

The Gib­bons St build­ing will be on the site of a for­mer City of Syd­ney Coun­cil de­pot and be home to hun­dreds of lo­cal work­ers whose mod­er­ate in­comes aren’t enough to af­ford sky­rock­et­ing in­ner city rents.

The be­tween 40 and 60 so­cial hous­ing apart­ments and 100 to 120 af­ford­able units will be of equal qual­ity.

“Gib­bons St is the first con­struc­tion project of scale for Lendlease in the so­cial and af­ford­able hous­ing sec­tor in Aus­tralia and we’re thrilled to be in­volved,” Lendlease’s chief ex­ec­u­tive of build­ing Dale Con­nor said.

“Hous­ing af­ford­abil­ity is a top pri­or­ity and a chal­lenge that will take a col­lab­o­ra­tive ap­proach to solve.

“The project is a great op­por­tu­nity to part­ner with St Ge­orge Com­mu­nity Hous­ing to de­fine what af­ford­able hous­ing looks like in Aus­tralia to­day.”

The SGCH project is a mix of one, two and three-bed­room apart­ments, ground floor com­mer­cial space and a cafe.

There will be no car spa­ces on the busy block, with bi­cy­cles given pri­or­ity.

“A ten­ure-blind ap­proach en­sures that all res­i­dents are af­forded the same amenity and op­por­tu­nity and aims to tar­get so­cial iso­la­tion and do away with pock­ets of im­pov­er­ish­ment,” a Lendlease spokes­woman said.

The build­ing will is due for com­ple­tion in June 2021.

Sin­gle peo­ple who want to be con­sid­ered for the af­ford­able hous­ing must have a con­nec­tion to the area and also be earn­ing less than $82,87.

Couples must also have a con­nec­tion to the area and not earn more than $124,375.

Syd­ney Uni­ver­sity head of ur­ban and re­gional plan­ning Peter Phibbs said Lendlease be­ing part of the project is a big win for those liv­ing in af­ford­able and so­cial hous­ing.

“By St Ge­orge se­cur­ing a grade-one builder like Lendlease it shows the cal­i­bre of the project,” Pro­fes­sor Phibbs said.

“There can be a per­cep­tion that not-for-profit hous­ing is a back­yard in­dus­try but it has emerged as a pro­fes­sional sec­tor which is ne­go­ti­at­ing high pow­ered con­tracts like this.”

An im­age of the build­ing.

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