Seven Minutes to Midnight

Below are some updated figures on social housing in Millers Point and The Rocks at the end of September 2017. The figures record the numbers of displaced tenants, the continuing successes of the government’s Relocation Team, and the revenue the government has received from selling properties once the tenants are displaced. The name of the author of this report is withheld at the author’s request. The author works in the social housing field.

Here is the update…

The statistics bear evidence that the clock is now set at seven minutes to midnight. For background reading, you may wish to check out blogs by the Tenants’ Union of NSW about Millers Point.


Family and Community Services Housing provided the following report to the Millers Point Tenants Advisory Group, formerly called Millers Point Estate Advisory Board, on 21 September 2017:

In summary … 7 residents in 4 tenancies remain uncommitted to moving.

399 tenancies in the portfolio. 386 have been vacated.

Of the 13 remaining tenancies (numbering 19 tenant and household members) to be relocated:

  • 3 (numbering 5 tenant and household members) are from FACS Housing NSW and remain uncommitted,
  • 1 (numbering 2 tenant and household members) is from Little Real Estate and remains uncommitted, and
  • 9 (numbering 12 tenant and household members) are committed to or in the process of moving. Of these, 6 are approved for moving outside of Millers Point and 3 for moving to properties set aside for remaining tenants and household members.

There are 2 tenancies remaining in the Sirius Building (numbering 2 tenant and household members), one committed and one remaining uncommitted to moving.

At the beginning of the process 579 tenant and household members (in 399 tenancies) were to be relocated.

Altogether 572 tenant and household members (in 395 tenancies) have either vacated or are committed to moving, with a further 7 (in 4 tenancies) still uncommitted to moving.

28 properties in Millers Point were set aside for remaining tenants and household members. Of these, 17 are occupied by 15 tenancies. Of the remaining 11 units, 3 have been accepted, 1 is on hold and 7 remain unallocated.

And the impact on residents … if you haven’t already, check our last blog on Millers Point at the end of July here.

Or read about the World Monuments Fund ‘call for the Sirius Building to be preserved as public housing’ here. 


Seven more properties came onto the market on 8 September 2017. You can read the NSW Government’s media release.

A row of two-story federation-style apartment blocks at 15 to 35 Dalgety Road came onto the market on 29 September 2017. You can read the NSW Government’s media release.

At 12 October 2017, 22 properties (comprising 6 sales) currently are on the market. These are 15 to 35 Dalgety Road (six blocks comprising 22 apartments).

A further 67 properties (comprising either 26 or 39 sales) still are to be placed on the market. These are:

  • Lower Fort Street: 25,27,65,69 = 4
  • High Street: 2 to 36 (eighteen),70,72,74 to 80 (four),5,7 = 26. Multiply by 2 = 52*
  • Windmill Street: 47,61,73 = 3
  • Kent Street: 88 = 1
  • Argyle Place: 46,48 = 2
  • Merriman Street: 40,42 = 2
  • Dalgety Road: 11,13,13A = 1 (block of 3)

* This could be either 13 sales in lots of four, as with previous sales in High Street and the current sales in Dalgety Road or 26 sales in lots of 2, as with previous sales at 3 and 9 (Little) High Street.

The above list exclude the Sirius building (79 properties) and the deferred sales (28 properties).

The last sales were on 11 October 2017. This brings the total sales to date to 159 which has netted the NSW Government $467.50M, with a median sale price of $2.39M and sales in the range $1.47M and $26M. The top price was a three story block of 33 apartments. Based upon sales to date, a conservative estimate of funds to be received from these sales is around $575M … and this figure excludes sale of the Sirius Building and deferred sales where 28 units have been occupied by relocated residents.

On top of this figure, stamp duty has netted the NSW Government an additional $24.79M.

Some time ago a figure of $100M was attached to the sale of the Sirius Building. It is an estimate only. See links here and here.

So an estimate of what the Government will make is around $700 million, which includes the sale of the Sirius Building and stamp duty, but excludes the deferred sales of 28 units. This is far in excess of the Government’s target of $500 million.

What is happening in Millers Point? On 15 March 2017, the property at 62 to 64A High Street was sold for $5,003,998. On Tuesday, 17 October 2017 this same property is for auction. Check out here. Not all of High Street has been sold by the NSW Land and Housing Corporation, as yet. In July 2017 the NSW Land and Housing Corporation had a Development Application (Ref No D/2017/894) before the City of Sydney Council for construction of 4 garages beneath 74 to 80 High Street, Millers Point. The work is estimated to cost $1,230,850. Existing use is described as ‘Residential – Social Housing’. Currently, the top half of High Street (Numbers 2 to 36) is being done up for sale. You can view all the activity here and here. Remember the Minister’s media release dated 19 March 2014 … the properties were being sold because of the high cost of maintenance. Well, it looks as if they now are being sold with the high cost of maintenance. Indeed, former residents would have appreciated some of this maintenance when they lived here!

Nevertheless, we’re hoping that the NSW Government will change course on the sale of the Sirius Building by granting it heritage listing and retaining it for social housing.

Sydney City Council is to recognise an early fighter for Millers Point by naming the Nita McCrae Park. Check it out here.

Waterloo … a changing situation just a stone’s throw away

Inner Sydney Voice has produced a special issue on “Redeveloping Waterloo Public Housing” and distributed it to all the public housing tenants impacted by the redevelopment. You can download the PDF version of this issue at: Winter 2017 – Redeveloping Waterloo Public Housing. It includes details about the process and also information on the drivers and commitments as provided by Land and Housing Corporation after discussion with tenants.

Early in September 2017, Nic Walker and Georgina Mitchell wrote about: ‘”We Live Here” art installation to shine light on demolition of Waterloo public housing project’. Check it out here and Steph Harmon reported ‘”These are people’s homes”: the Sydney art project making public housing glow’. With the largest inner-city housing estate set for demolition and privatisation, residents have banded together – to stunning effect. Check out this artwork here.

Dallas Rogers from the University of Sydney and others wrote for The Conversation: ‘We Live Here: how do residents feel about public housing redevelopment?’ Read their article.

Sean Nicholls writes: ‘Sydneysiders in revolt over development as two thirds declare the city is “full”‘. But his article contains words of solace. Just last Sunday (8 October 2017) a spokesperson for Planning Minister, Mr Anthony Roberts, said the NSW Government ‘is committed to providing homes for Sydney’s growing population, but with careful consideration for maintaining local character.’