Community rejects public housing redevelopment and sell off in Eveleigh


Local residents and community members in Eveleigh unanimously rejected the NSW Government's plan to redevelop the Explorer Street public housing estate at a community online meeting led by Jenny Leong MP, Member for Newtown and Greens NSW spokesperson on Housing. The meeting opposed the plan to use this site to create a large number of high density private dwellings with a small increase in public housing and affordable dwellings.

The following resolution was passed on Dec 8, 2020: 

This meeting of residents expresses its opposition to the proposed demolition and rebuilding of the social housing units at Explorer Street in Eveleigh.

We believe public land should be used exclusively for social and affordable housing. These projects won’t address the social housing shortage in the inner city, they are out of keeping with the low-rise character of Eveleigh and they will displace residents for years.

We call on the NSW Government to:

  1. Abandon their proposal to knock-down and rebuild this estate.
  2. Develop a comprehensive plan to fund a significant increase in social housing construction in NSW and significant maintenance works to ensure every home is in good, liveable condition.

The current proposal for Explorer Street is to replace the existing 46 one and two-storey townhouses with 430 dwellings in a series of medium to high-rise buildings. Currently, this site consists entirely of publicly owned social housing.

In this proposal however, only 120 or 30% of the units are proposed to be social housing dwellings while the remaining 70% or 310 units are proposed to be sold on the private market.

The resulting increase in social housing on the site will be just 73 dwellings, despite an increase of dwellings on the site by 383, falling far short of the urgent need for more social and affordable housing in the area.

The existing dwellings on the Explorer Street site accommodate family groups with a number of 4 and 5 bedroom homes. The proposed redevelopment however consists only of 1 or 2 bedrooms units. This change from larger homes to 1 or 2 bedroom units represents a material loss of public housing on the site, as the available accommodation is reduced when larger homes are demolished and replaced with bed-sits and single bedroom units. The need for family homes in the inner city social housing stock remains high and their availability is already extremely limited. 

It is unacceptable that larger families requiring social housing or currently living on the site will be forcibly displaced away from their community, schools and other cultural links as a result of this redevelopment. This is of particular concern in regards to housing Aboriginal family groups, who typically require more than 2 bedrooms.

According to the DCJ website, there are currently more than 1,000 households with children who are waiting to be housed in the central Sydney area and over 750 applicants with a priority need. The need for investment in social housing with more than one bedroom could not be more evident.

The Greens are committed to maintaining 100% public and affordable housing on this site and stopping the privatisation or sell-off of valuable inner city public land. It is also crucial that
any proposed development in the Redfern/Waterloo/Eveleigh area includes at least 10% Aboriginal affordable housing on the site.

Jenny Leong MP has written to NSW Housing Minister Pavey calling for the government to reconsider this proposal and not proceed with the demolition of these homes and the privatisation of this public

Further information:

Join the Save South Eveleigh Public Housing BBQ and meeting on Sat Feb 13 from 12-2pm

See the Media release on the Franklin Street, Glebe and Explorer St, Sth Eveleigh proposed public housing redevelopments 

Read the Resolution from the South Eveleigh Community meeting of Dec 2020

Sign the Friends of Erskineville and Hands Off Glebe petition to the Housing Minister 

Read Jenny Leong MP's Notice of Motion in the NSW Parliament 

Sign up for updates