15 May 2024

Our affordable housing crisis

During the period between 2016 and 2021 according to ABS statistics the area went from 21,196 residents and a median age of 35 to having 18,187 residents with a median age of 39.

The thousands of workers at the St Vincents Medical Precinct and the Kuttabul/Garden Island precinct, creatives such as artists, musicians, thespians, writers, filmmakers etc and the single elderly will be increasingly unable to live in the area. This would be a great travesty and a fundamental shift in the social and cultural history and development of the locality.

During a declared housing crisis Council should refuse re-developments that reduce the number of existing dwellings by 78% to 66%.

This reduction in housing is not in keeping with Council’s Local Strategic Planning Statement.

These “luxury” apartments will be out of reach for most “families” due to the likely $12 million + price tag per apartment or the high rents commanded, circa $2,500+/week.

Current new apartment builds in the area command prices between $60,000 and $100,000 per square metre making a 150 square metre three-bedroom apartment worth between $9 million and $15 million.

Only families with very well-endowed backing could purchase such apartments. To attract families the development should be a build-to-rent or a social housing proposal.

The purchasers and occupants will be seeking larger apartments for strong capital growth and rental returns.

The experience is that many such apartments sit empty for much of the year as can be seen by the lack of lights visible in apartment buildings such as Horizon and Crown Barangaroo along with many more in the City of Sydney.


Potts Point/Elizabeth Bay/Rushcutters Bay: Reduction of Affordable Housing:

The number of proposed developments in Potts Point/Elizabeth Bay as of March 2024 and the average loss of apartments (Source: Potts Point Preservation Group, Facebook Page).

This development, if approved, would further reduce the number of apartments in the locality.



More examples

Darlinghurst: Reduction of Affordable Housing:

355-357 Liverpool Street Darlinghurst:  an existing Boarding House, is to be demolished to create a 19-apartment development and 349 Liverpool Street Darlinghurst is subject to an appeal in the Land & Environment Court.

If approved, it would be yet another proposal in the locality which is contrary to the NSW Government’s target of creating 75,000 new dwellings per year over the next 5 years.

Contrary to the Objects of the NSW Environmental Planning & Assessment Act 1979 (Section 1.3)

It is most questionable whether such development complies with the objects of the NSW Environmental Planning and Assessment Act 1979. The relevant objects of this Act and responses, where relevant, to the development’s non-compliance are as follows—

(a) to promote the social and economic welfare of the community and a better environment by the proper management, development and conservation of the State’s natural and other resources,

Response – The social and economic welfare of the existing owners and residents is being destroyed by them being removed with little chance of them purchasing or leasing like for like property in the locality. Existing businesses reliant upon local residents will continue to suffer from the reduction in number of residents that would occupy this proposed development and the many others that have been lost.

The economic and social welfare of existing owners, residents and shopkeepers will be impacted. The reduction in people occupying the building will also impact the economic activity of the locality.

The existing buildings represent affordable housing, are a highly sustainable response to the site and the locality and represent good design and amenity. The buildings are harmonious with the existing form of the surrounding area.





The 2010 and 2011 areas the most insidious trend is the replacement of smaller dwellings (studios and one-bedroom apartments) with large apartments.

It is contrary to Council’s Local Strategic Planning Statement – City Plan 2036 and contrary to many of the objects contained in Section 1.3 of the NSW Environmental Planning and Assessment Act 1979.

It will reduce the diversity of available accommodation and the diversity of the population and further reduce the actual population living in the area. Kings cross is not the place it was in part due to the reduction of residents and visitor accommodation.

The area will become a monoculture of wealthy people occasionally occupying their city pad which will remain unoccupied for much of the time. It is yet another Money Box development and a further sterilisation of the locality.

Over time the demand for goods and services in the area will also diminish and services will be lost.

Council must refuse all re-development of affordable housing to luxury housing. NSWG must introduce a “no net housing loss” policy.

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