Thursday, June 20, 2024

City of Sydney reaffirms $3m to affordable housing project

City of Sydney Council has reaffirmed a $3 million contribution to Wesley Mission’s development of 39 affordable homes for almost 100 residents in Glebe.

The Council says the Wesley Mission’s vacant RJ Williams building at 274-276 Glebe Point Road will be redeveloped into affordable housing, providing more accommodation for low-income families struggling with the cost of living.

An original development application was approved in 2020, however Wesley Mission broadened the mix of homes in its proposal in response to changes in the way people live and work following the pandemic and an increase in demand for affordable housing from families.

A modification application for the development was amended and approved in August 2023.

Designed with several communal spaces and to cater for people at different life stages, it’s hoped the development will become home to key workers, families, young people and women aged over 55.

“We are in an increasing housing crisis, which is making owning or renting in Sydney unaffordable for many. The problem is particularly acute in the inner city, where the supply of affordable and social housing is nowhere near the demand,” said Lord Mayor, Clover Moore AO.

“Access to Affordable Housing is essential for a diverse, cohesive, and economically successful global city, but more importantly, is a basic human right, which is why the City uses all the levers at our disposal to create more affordable housing in the area and help organisations overcome financial barriers in this kind of housing development.”

Wesley Mission CEO, Rev Stu Cameron.

Wesley Mission CEO, Rev Stu Cameron said Wesley Mission was committed to working with the Council as the demand for affordable housing becomes more acute.

“The development comprises 39 well-appointed apartments with a total of 56 bedrooms including a mix of one, two, three and four-bedroom configurations that can accommodate singles, a couple or family group,” he said.

“Glebe is an ideal location for affordable housing with easy access to employment, education and public transport. Our hope is to create a community within the wider community, recreating the village environment within the inner city.”

This $3 million grant is from the Council’s affordable and diverse housing fund.

Established in 2015, the fund was set up from a $10m land sale at Harold Park and promotes the development of affordable and diverse rental housing in the local area by community housing providers, not-for-profit and for-profit organisations.

Affordable housing is aimed at very low to moderate income households and priced so that tenants can meet other basic living costs such as food and clothing. At RJ Williams, each apartment will be leased at 30% of the tenant’s gross household income.

Now approved, construction on the $16.5 million development is expected to get underway mid-next year, with completion scheduled for the latter half of 2025.

The Council says it will permanently secure the use of the property as affordable housing through a covenant on the land used for the project.

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