Thursday, December 10, 2015

Cowper Street sale, development announced

On 9 December 2015, NSW Social Housing Minister Brad Hazzard announced the sale of a lot on Cowper Street, Glebe, to developer Roxy Gordon Pty Ltd. 

According to a media release issued by Mr. Hazzard, a mixed use development will be constructed on the site. The project will consist of 497 new dwellings - 247 private dwellings (49.7%), 159 social housing dwellings (32%), and 91 affordable housing dwellings (18.3%). The affordable housing component will be provided to "key workers". The Government intends to submit a development application for the project prior to Christmas 2015, and expects works will be completed by the end of 2018. 

Artist's impression of the Cowper Street redevelopment

The sale price for the site was $67 million. The Minister's press release says this will be reinvested to cover the social and affordable housing component of the new development. It is unclear how much construction of the social and affordable dwellings is expected to cost. 

According to a Family and Community Services media release dated 17 June 2015, Bridge Housing will manage the social housing component of the development, and City West Housing will manage the affordable housing component. According to an article in The Sydney Morning Herald dated June 13 2015, NSW Treasury has also provided title to this land to the community housing providers. 

The Cowper Street site has been vacant since the demolition of fifteen public housing apartment blocks in 2011. Hansard states that the former site contained 134 public housing units, and 208 tenants were relocated prior to demolition.

A separate development application for the site was lodged by the Government in 2011, but was contested by community groups. According to a Sydney Morning Herald article dated 14 May 2011, this development application was for a mixed use residential site of 493 dwellings - consisting of 250 private units (50.7%), 153 public housing units (31%), and 90 affordable housing units (18.3%). 

The project has not been listed as part of the Department of Family and Community Services' 'Communities Plus' program. The relationship between the Cowper Street redevelopment and the '$1 billion Social and Affordable Housing Fund' is not clear. 

Please comment below if you've seen or heard anything about the Cowper Street redevelopment not included in this story. 

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