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Future Directions for Social Housing in NSW

‘Future Directions for Social Housing (in NSW)’ was released in January 2016, it sets out the NSW Government’s plan to transform the current social housing system over the next 10 years to meet the needs of the 21st Century.

The vision seeks to produce more social housing, reduce homelessness and provide more opportunities, support and incentive to help people to successfully transition out or avoid the social housing system.

From a planning and urban design perspective, NSW Land and Housing Corporation in partnership with the private sector are set to fast-track redevelopment of its social housing portfolio. The redevelopment program, first announced last year, includes both small-site redevelopments as well as larger redevelopments and will create opportunities for innovation through partnerships with the private and non-government sectors.

By 2025 the NSW Government have committed to transforming the public housing sector by:

  • delivering redevelopment projects on Land and Housing Corporation sites throughout metropolitan Sydney and regional NSW through the ‘Communities Plus’ initiative
  • aligning redevelopment projects within UrbanGrowth priority renewal areas
  • working with planning agencies and authorities to ensure appropriate rezoning is possible
  • ensuring large redevelopments target a 70:30 ratio of private to social housing to enable more integrated communities (generally with an increased number of social housing where practicable).

The program will have several different elements which include neighbourhood scale, medium scale and major urban transformation redevelopments. The sites selected will be offered to the market through ‘Communities Plus’  to ensure they are transformed into communities that have good amenity, access to transport, employment and educational opportunities.

Ivanhoe Estate at Macquarie Park (currently with 259 social housing dwellings), is earmarked for redevelopment which will see the eight hectare site transformed into a high quality integrated community with more than 1800 private, 556 social and 128 affordable housing dwellings.

The reforms provide the incentive and opportunity to transform the social housing system and help build positive environments for all community members.

For more information on the future of social housing in NSW, visit

For advice in relation to ‘Communities Plus’ or if you are developing your own affordable or social housing portfolio, please contact Kirsty Smith in our Sydney office on +61 2 9699 2021 or email


About the author

Kirsty Smith is an experienced planner with a strong background in both NSW and UK planning systems. She has previously worked for various housing associations in the UK and is passionate about helping public sector client’s deliver high quality social and affordable housing.

Kirsty also has advanced skills in site due diligence and the preparation of development applications for residential, commercial and mixed use projects.

About David Lock Associates

David Lock Associates is a specialist planning and urban design consultancy with a drive to imagine the people and places of tomorrow. The firm has a diverse skill set in the management and delivery of large-scale urban extensions, eco-precincts, delivery of new towns, urban regeneration and development implementation.

With offices in Australia (Melbourne and Sydney), the UK, Norway and Sweden, our senior Australian staff bring considerable international experience. This unique combination has resulted in a strong reputation for innovative and implementable solutions to the most complex of development and planning issues.

For all media enquiries:

Kathryn Cuddihy
+61 3 9682 8568

communities plus, social housing, planning sydney, town planning sydney

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