LAHC responds to our Community Questions

In early October we asked Land and Housing Corporation (LAHC) to respond to a number of questions from the community about the Waterloo redevelopment.

Here are LAHCs responses. While we process them, we thought we’d share them with you. If you have comments, queries, or suggestions, please get in touch by leaving a comment here or on our Facebook Page. If you’d prefer to contact us privately, you can send us an email wphag.nsw@hotmail.com or a private message on Facebook.

Responses received on 10th November 2016

Redevelopment

1. How dense is dense? How many people will there be per km sq?

2. How will green space be accounted for in proposed densities?

3. How much green space will there be?

4. How much green space will be lost?

The master planning process will assist in determining the number of new homes and the mix of social, affordable and private housing. The NSW Government’s objective is to build more social housing to meet the needs of current and future residents. The detail about how this will be designed is to be determined as part of the master planning process. Designing for parks, green spaces, community facilities and services will be part of the redevelopment.

5. What new services will be put in place? E.g. Schools, hospitals, banks etc?

Community facilities such as childcare, community centres, retail and recreational facilities will be available for the community to access. Place management, community engagement and good quality urban design will also assist in supporting community interaction.

6. How will Urban Growth NSW ensure that the same number of public housing units will remain after redevelopment? Should that number increase?

The NSW Government’s objective is to deliver more social housing. The master planning process will assist in determining the number of new homes and the mix of social, affordable and private housing.

7. How will Urban Growth NSW ensure that the area remains affordable for low income residents after redevelopment?

The NSW Government is currently developing its affordable housing strategy. There is an objective to provide affordable housing for key workers and low income earners as part of the private dwelling component of the redevelopment. The number and location of affordable housing will be considered as part of the master planning process.

8. How will the redevelopment be sensitive to the culture, legacy and heritage of Waterloo?

As part of the master planning process, there will be studies and research into the history and culture of Waterloo community. These studies will be taken into account in the design and development of artwork, streetscapes, community facilities and services for the redevelopment.

9. How are Aboriginal land rights and housing needs addressed in the redevelopment plan?

The recognition of Waterloo’s cultural history, and in particular the role and needs of the Aboriginal community, will be listened to and included as part of the master planning process. There will be specific engagement and communication with Aboriginal representatives to ensure this happens. FACS will continue to work with the WPHAG on the best way to engage with the Aboriginal community.

10. How are human rights impacted by the estate redevelopment? E.g. right to age in place, right to belong in the city?

The NSW Government has stated that all Waterloo residents who have to temporarily relocate will have the right to return to a new home in Waterloo. Throughout the staged program of redevelopment, the majority of residents will be able to ‘leap-frog’ from their old home to a new home within the estate.

11. How is accessibility being taken into account in the redevelopment plans?

The redevelopment of the Waterloo Estate provides the opportunity to better plan and provide support to social housing residents. This will assist in determining what services and additional supports are required. Engagement with residents, community organisations and service providers has already commenced and the need for an integrated human services plan that includes accessibility issues is recognised.

12. What community consultation has been going on since the announcement?

13. How has tenant feedback been incorporated into the plan?

Over the past few months, FACS has held close to 40 engagement events involving about 2000 residents and community organisations including through forums, information sessions and morning teas. This includes nearly 400 face to face visits which have been conducted through the Waterloo Connect office. Home visits have also been undertaken with social housing residents in the Waterloo Estate. FACS is committed to consulting and working closely with residents, local services providers, peak organisations, businesses and the community as plans are prepared for the redevelopment of the estate.

14. What best practice guidance are Urban Growth drawing upon to inform their plan?

15. What research evidence are Urban Growth drawing upon to inform their plan?

There are various models and examples of urban redevelopment projects in Sydney (Minto and Riverwood), other states of Australia and the United Kingdom. The Waterloo Estate is unique, and through the master planning process the objective will be to ensure we incorporate all the elements of good place management, community development and urban design.

16. How will the redevelopment process be independently monitored and evaluated to ensure the wellbeing of tenants?

Before and throughout the redevelopment process, each resident will have a dedicated FACS Relocation Officer managing their needs and ensuring their well-being. Each tenant will have a relocation plan which will be monitored and reviewed closely with each resident to ensure there needs are being met.

17. What steps will be taken to ensure a democratic consultation process?

The community will be invited to participate in the master planning process. FACS is preparing a community engagement strategy, based on community feedback and workshops over the past six months. This engagement strategy will assist in determining how the community would like to be included in master planning. Everyone who wants to make a contribution will have the opportunity to do so through the master planning process.

The redevelopment at the Waterloo Estate will include specific programs to better support social housing residents with high needs. FACS has been consulting with local non-government organisations over the past 10 months and it is acknowledged that housing redevelopment needs to be accompanied by programs to support social housing residents with high needs.

18. How long will the redevelopment take?

The redevelopment of Waterloo estate will be staged over a 15 to 20 year timeframe.

19. How much effort will be made to ensure residents can remain in place during redevelopment?

The objective of the redevelopment staging plan is that the majority of residents move directly from their old home to new home on the estate. The staging plan is part of the master planning process.

 

New tenancy terms

20. Will rents remain the same? If not, how will rents be controlled?

21. What is considered an affordable rent?

22. Will tenures/leases remain the same?

23. Will eviction policies remain the same?

Social housing tenancy agreements and obligations will continue to be maintained.

24. Will security management of the buildings and estate remain the same?

Safety and security are important priorities and part of the master planning process. This will assist in determining the type of security required in the redeveloped Waterloo estate. It is an aim that all residents, be it social, private or affordable, feel safe and are passively involved in its safety through good design, community meeting places and, where necessary, estate security services.

25. Will residents get like for like? E.g. two-bedroom unit for a two-bedroom unit. Will tenants with carers be provided with the necessary extra bedrooms?

There will be no loss of social housing at the Waterloo estate. In fact, the NSW Government’s objective is to deliver more social housing. The master plan will determine the type of social housing, with a preference for two-bedroom units recognising the requirements for carers for the elderly and those with special needs.

26. Will there be financial assistance with storage of belongings and purchase of new furnishings if needed?

The NSW Government has committed to provide financial assistance to all Waterloo residents for relocation costs. Any additional costs that a resident requires assistance with will be determined through their individual assessment by a dedicated FACS Relocation Officer.

 

Re-blocking

27. Is re-blocking/renovating the high rise buildings a viable economic option?

28. Are the buildings structurally sound?

29. Have building surveys been carried out to investigate the structural integrity of the buildings and their economic longevity?

30. How much would it cost to renovate each existing unit versus cost to build a new unit?

31. Is a cost-benefit analysis of renovation versus demolition available?

32. If the high rise buildings are renovated, will all the units remain as social housing?

33. If the high rise buildings are renovated, how would the state government’s target ration of 30% affordable housing to 70% private housing be achieved?

The high rise units have aged infrastructure and facilities. The redevelopment of the Waterloo Estate provides the opportunity to provide new, modern social housing dwellings better suited to the needs of social housing residents. The approach to the redevelopment program will be considered as part of the process for preparing the master plan.

 

Community Housing Provider

34. If the public housing is transferred to a Community Housing Provider, who would that be?

35. How will the community housing provider be appointed?

36. How will the government ensure a reputable provider gets the lease?

The details about how community housing providers will be involved in the Waterloo redevelopment will be determined as part of the planning process. This will involve consultation with tenants and the community housing sector about opportunities for tenancy management and the provision of support services. There are no specific details or plans at present.

37. How will tenants be involved in the tendering process?

38. Will reputable NSW non-profit community housing providers be supported to take

on the lease?

39. Will for-profit organisations be given the lease?

40. How long will the lease be for?

The details about how community housing providers will be involved in the Waterloo redevelopment will be determined as part of the planning process. This will involve consultation with tenants and the community housing sector about opportunities for tenancy management and the provision of support services. There are no specific details or plans at present.

 

Demographic information

41. Who lives in Waterloo public housing?

42. How long have they lived there? Number of generations.

43. How are the redevelopment plans tailored to the current demographic profile of public housing residents in Waterloo? In other words, for whom is this urban redevelopment designed?

44. How will different community groups be consulted? E.g. where English is a second language.

FACS has information about residents within the Waterloo social housing estate and this will be considered in the planning process. The current and future social housing demand of the Waterloo area will be a crucial consideration in determining the unit mix needed in the redevelopment.This information will inform the unit sizes needed and the requirement of other facilities and services within the whole Waterloo area.The relocation program will need to be managed individually to best meet the specific housing needs of families with unique circumstances.Consultation around the master planning process for the Waterloo redevelopment is being held in a number of community languages.

Education services must be part of the plan

We met this morning with representations from the Department for Education, FACS and LAHC to discuss the current need for school provision in the area, concerns around the use of demountables at Alexandria Park School, and provision for children with special learning needs. Also on the table: how will education services meet the demands of an increasing population as the Waterloo redevelopment progresses?

Education agreed that there are shortcomings in their planning by not focusing specifically on children with special learning needs. They are going to do some research and get back to us. They also admitted that many mistakes have been made in the past – public land sell offs & local school closures have led to the present situation & the temporary solution of a ‘pop up school’.

What is most surprising in all this is that Education haven’t been involved in the redevelopment plans for Waterloo to date!! We raised education provision as a key issue at our previous meeting with Minister Hazzard. It’s good to see Education are now part of the redevelopment planning process. Next job – health!

Outcomes:

  • 2 WPHAG reps will be involved in ongoing consultations with the education dept to get the best outcome for our children.
  • We called for transparent communication that acknowledges the history of education services in this community and hears the concerns of Waterloo’s Aboriginal communities.
  • Education for children with special learning needs in Waterloo is now a focus for the education department

If you have any concerns, comment here or send a private message and we’ll take them forward to the next meeting.

#battleforwaterloo

Community questions regarding the redevelopment plans for Waterloo public housing

 

Earlier this month, Waterloo Public Housing Action Group (WPHAG) met with Minister for Social Housing Brad Hazzard and representatives from Urban Growth, Family and Community Services (FACS), Land and Housing Corporation (LAHC), NSW Planning and City of Sydney. We highlighted the range of community concerns and questions about the redevelopment plans and queried how Waterloo communities can participate in the Master Plan process. We argued that tenants should be in a position to negotiate on the decisions made about the place that is their home. Tenants should be able to ask questions and get responses as the redevelopment plans change and progress.

meeting
Waterloo Stakeholder Meeting at FACS, Strawberry Hills 7th Oct 2016

We presented the following questions and concerns about the redevelopment of Waterloo at the meeting. We are due responses to these questions before the end of October and will upload them to our site.

If you have any questions you’d like to ask or concerns to raise, you can email us wphag.nsw@hotmail.com or comment here or on our Facebook Page.

Community questions regarding the redevelopment plans for Waterloo public housing

Compiled by Waterloo Public Housing Action Group

Friday 7th October 2016.

 

Redevelopment

  1. How dense is dense? How many people will there be per km sq?
  2. How will green space be accounted for in proposed densities?
  3. How much green space will there be?
  4. How much green space will be lost?
  5. What new services will be put in place? E.g. Schools, hospitals, banks etc?
  6. How will Urban Growth NSW ensure that the same number of public housing units will remain after redevelopment? Should that number increase?
  7. How will Urban Growth NSW ensure that the area remains affordable for low-income residents after redevelopment?
  8. How will the redevelopment be sensitive to the culture, legacy and heritage of Waterloo?
  9. How are Aboriginal land rights and housing needs addressed in the redevelopment plan?
  10. How are human rights impacted by the estate redevelopment? E.g. right to age in place, right to belong in the city?
  11. How is accessibility being taken into account in the redevelopment plans
  12. What community consultation has been going on since the announcement
  13. How has tenant feedback been incorporated into the plan
  14. What best practice guidance are Urban Growth drawing upon to inform their plan
  15. What research evidence are Urban Growth drawing upon to inform their plan
  16. How will the redevelopment process be independently monitored and evaluated to ensure the wellbeing of tenants?
  17. What steps will be taken to ensure a democratic consultation process
  18. How long will the redevelopment take
  19. How much effort will be made to ensure residents can remain in place during redevelopment?

New tenancy terms

  1. Will rents remain the same? If not, how will rents be controlled
  2. What is considered an affordable rent?
  3. Will tenures/leases remain the same
  4. Will eviction policies remain the same
  5. Will security management of the buildings and estate remain the same
  6. Will residents get like for like? E.g. two-bedroom unit for a two-bedroom unit. Will tenants with carers be provided with the necessary extra bedrooms
  7. Will there be financial assistance with storage of belongings and purchase of new furnishings if needed?

Re-blocking

  1. Is re-blocking/renovating the high rise buildings a viable economic option?
  2. Are the buildings structurally sound?
  3. Have building surveys been carried out to investigate the structural integrity of the buildings and their economic longevity?
  4. How much would it cost to renovate each existing unit versus cost to build a new unit?
  5. Is a cost-benefit analysis of renovation versus demolition available?
  6. If the high rise buildings are renovated, will all the units remain as social housing?
  7. If the high rise buildings are renovated, how would the state government’s target ration of 30% affordable housing to 70% private housing be achieved?

Community Housing Provider

  1. If the public housing is transferred to a Community Housing Provider, who would that be?
  2. How will the community housing provider be appointed?
  3. How will the government ensure a reputable provider gets the lease?
  4. How will tenants be involved in the tendering process?
  5. Will reputable NSW non-profit community housing providers be supported to take on the lease?
  6. Will for-profit organisations be given the lease?
  7. How long will the lease be for?

Demographic information

  1. Who lives in Waterloo public housing?
  2. How long have they lived there? Number of generations.
  3. How are the redevelopment plans tailored to the current demographic profile of public housing residents in Waterloo? In other words, for whom is this urban redevelopment designed?
  4. How will different community groups be consulted? E.g. where English is a second language?

Waterloo Tent Embassy

WATERLOO TENT EMBASSY NOW OPEN

The Waterloo tent embassy is volunteer run by Waterloo public housing tenants and supporters of the Waterloo community. Who don’t want to be evicted or removed by the Baird’s government’s gentrification from their Waterloo public housing homes, businesses and community.  To put an end to the trepidation we’ve all personally experienced for over six months as a culturally diverse community. By having our stability removed to personally make any solid plans for the security of our future through no fault of our own.

Doing this to any person is criminally violating their human rights and is inhumanly wrong. Keeping persons in the dark, telling them absolutely nothing like mushrooms being fed fodder. Even asking the cherry friendly staff at Waterloo Connects who all forcefully smile at you like they are about to tell you ‘Happy Birthday’ as reciting their patronising spiel and pointing at gentrified artist impressions and maps of the Baird Governments planned social cleansing of all Waterloo public housing are no different than asking a house brick.

You also the same response from the very high turnover of casual staff employed with public housing. Especially when reporting maintenance or domestic social issues that remain non repaired or unresolved no matter how many phone calls or emails you’ve sent, they remain non repaired or resolved.

After six months of no answers ‘enough is enough’ it’s time we all unitedly finally end this nonsense to get our stability back.  Come join us at the Waterloo tent embassy running daily until federal election on the 2nd of July. Sign the petition to put an end to the trepidation and show FACS and the NSW Baird Government you want stay in your Waterloo public housing homes and community.

By visually hanging a ‘WATERLOO NOT FOR SALE’ sign in your window to ‘URBACT RE- BLOCK’ all Waterloo public housing homes not knock them down to sell more government owned land to foreign developers and investors for gentrification.

Show the Baird government we are human beings and a united culturally diverse community.

W.P.H.A.G.