In March 2014, the NSW Government announced that it proposed to sell 293 properties in Millers Point, Gloucester Street and the Sirius building in The Rocks as part of a social housing divestment plan to provide an upfront cash injection to the Land and Housing Corporation. The government identified the reasons for sale as being ‘the high cost of maintenance, significant investment required to improve properties to an acceptable standard, and high potential sale values.’
SGS Economics and Planning prepared an independent report at the invitation of the Millers Point Community Group to review the government’s plan. The report uses a cost benefit analysis framework to argue that a more strategic approach to social housing properties in Millers Point and the Rocks may result in a better economic and social outcomes for NSW as a whole.
SGS suggests retaining a mixed community by providing a range of private, affordable, social and aged care housing by retaining at least some social housing in the area. For the Millers Point area they recommend:
- Maintaining some, rather than all, social housing in the area. The most appropriate properties to retain will be those with low maintenance costs that are purpose-built as social housing.
- Replace all lost social housing stock within the inner city area, rather than relocating it to areas with poor services and accessibility.
- Invest in a purpose-built facility to house elderly long-term residents of the area to allow these residents to age in place and maintain their links to the community.
- Increase the amount of affordable housing in the area to cater for lower-income workers essential to the city’s function.
Read the entire report here…