EditorialOpinion

More housing options for key workers

The City of Sydney plans to use the upcoming closure of three of its depots (in Zetland, Alexandra and Redfern) to achieve its Sustainable Sydney 2030 target of 7.5 per cent affordable housing. Delivered by not-for-profit providers, the target represents an increase of nearly 8,000 homes to the supply of affordable rental housing stock. A further 7.5 per cent would comprise social housing provided by government and community providers.

The plan to place 94-106 Epsom Road, Zetland, 36 Gerard Street, Alexandria, and 11 Gibbons Street, Redfern on the market in 2017-18 is recommended in a report to be considered by council.

The Lord Mayor says: “The sale of surplus operational land will enable us to further invest in our City’s future, while helping to provide affordable housing in Redfern, which is so urgently needed now. The Redfern depot has been earmarked as an appropriate affordable housing site for some time. The sale of this property will provide more housing options for key workers such as teachers, nurses, police, firefighters and social workers.”

Amid increasingly unaffordable rents in Redfern, the SSH welcomes the Lord Mayor’s commitment to negotiate the sale of the Redfern depot site, which holds potential for more than 100 affordable housing units.

With the latest census showing home ownership in the inner city the lowest in Sydney (at around 30 per cent), not only is affordable housing crucial for rental affordability it is also crucial for community stability.

The Make Rent Fair campaign (www.rentingfair.org.au) is tackling another part of the problem – providing rental stability by abolishing no-cause evictions. Both are crucial if there is to be stability across the rental market. People on low incomes are those most likely to lose out when landlords use no-cause evictions to push up rents and so exacerbate the need for affordable housing.

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