RLC Submission: Waterloo Estate (South) Planning Proposal

In April 2022, RLC's  Inner Sydney Tenants' Advice and Advocacy Service (ISTAAS) made submissions to the NSW Department of Planning and Environment regarding the Waterloo Estate (South) Planning Proposal.

Introduction

RLC has a long history of providing advice, assistance and advocacy to the local community, with a key focus on the provision of information and services to public housing tenants and a strong emphasis on the prevention of homelessness.

The Inner Sydney area has a significant number of people living in public housing and these tenants make up approximately 30% of all people advised by our practice. We are keenly aware of the issues faced by tenants facing relocation and redevelopment through our work providing City of Sydney funded tenants’ advice services for tenants of the Millers Point relocations and Waterloo redevelopment.

Our submission is informed by the experiences of our clients, many of whom will be impacted by the proposed Waterloo Estate (South) redevelopment.

RLC's submission

The proposal to upgrade and improve social housing stock in Inner City Sydney is welcomed. Every day our tenancy team speaks with tenants living in ageing, poorly maintained public housing with chronic maintenance issues. However, there is an opportunity for the proposed redevelopment to better meet the needs of existing social housing tenants and to enhance the delivery of social housing within Inner City Sydney.

Even though no ground has yet been broken, the Waterloo redevelopment project has already had a significant impact on the Waterloo community. Plans to redevelop the Waterloo estate have been discussed for many years but were officially announced in December 2015. Since that time, the community has been subjected to an at times confusing and frustrating process, with changing timelines and shifting parameters that have undermined the community consultation process.

Our submission makes recommendations in response to specific issues regarding social, affordable and aboriginal housing, current and future housing needs and support needs, and highlights the need for commitments to support the existing social housing community through the redevelopment of the site and any relocations

On review of the proposal, RLC recommends that it:

  1. include an increased allocation of social, affordable, and Aboriginal housing on the site.
  2. meet the current and future housing needs of social housing tenants in terms of density, universal design and dwelling size and configuration through undertaking and implementing a Social Impact Assessment.
  3. incorporate a comprehensive plan to meet the ongoing support needs of social housing tenants including appropriate locating of a Community Centre that incorporates tenancy support services.
  4. include commitments to support the existing social housing community through the development of the site and any relocation of existing tenants, including appropriately resourced tenancy advice and support services.  

Download submission