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Frequently asked questions

Answers to your questions about the proposed renewal of the Waterloo Estate.

What is the NSW Land and Housing Corporation doing in Waterloo?

Over the next 30 years, we’ll be redeveloping Waterloo Estate.

Our aim is to deliver a vibrant place to live, work and visit that is close to jobs and transport.

The redevelopment will be home to a mix of social housing tenants, private property owners and people on low and middle incomes who provide essential services for our city, such as nurses, childcare workers, teachers and police.

It will also create more community facilities and green spaces for residents and Waterloo locals alike. The project capitalises on the new Waterloo Metro Station, which is due to open in 2024, to ensure residents have easy access to shops and multiple modes of transport.

Why is the Waterloo Estate being redeveloped?

Waterloo Estate is an important part of Sydney’s social housing story. However, its buildings are between 40 and 70 years old, and many are nearing the end of their intended lifespan. They are also increasingly difficult and expensive to maintain.

Many of the homes in Waterloo do not meet contemporary accessibility and sustainability standards, and many residents have specific needs that can’t be met with current housing.

The community also wants more open space, better community facilities, and shops that suit residents. More local, community-focused services can make it easier to do everyday things, like grocery shopping and meeting up with friends.

The project is also important for creating new jobs, homes, and community spaces close to the Sydney CBD.

What is the aim of the project?

The Waterloo renewal is aimed at creating:

  • more homes for social housing tenants that better meet the needs of residents, both now and in the future
  • positive social outcomes for residents by creating a place that supports their health and wellbeing, and sensitively manages effects on existing residents
  • positive outcomes for the local Aboriginal community through planning, delivery and operational phases of the project
  • an authentic sense of place by building on Waterloo’s past and current strengths to create an authentic, distinctive and welcoming place
  • a socially, economically and environmentally sustainable community
  • strong partnerships by collaborating with the community, not-for-profit and private sectors to deliver great housing, places and social outcomes.

Who is leading the project?

The renewal of Waterloo will be led by the NSW Government in collaboration with a consortium, including a developer and community housing provider(s), to be appointed in 2023.

How long will the project take?

It is expected to take around 30 years. It will be completed in 3 stages: Waterloo South, Waterloo Central and Waterloo North. Waterloo South is the first stage of the redevelopment.

Where are we up to now in terms of the development process?

After many years of planning, the project is moving into the early stages of delivery.

This means we are now looking for a developer and social housing provider(s) to partner with us and deliver on our objectives.

The renewal partners will not only deliver new buildings and infrastructure but will collaborate with government to support residents through change and create a vibrant and mixed inner-city community with a real sense of place.

It takes about 18 months to appoint partners for a project of this size. Expressions of interest (EOIs) closed on 26 August 2022. We are now evaluating the EOI responses. A 2-stage request-for-proposal process will follow to select our renewal partners.

What is Waterloo South?

Waterloo South is the first stage of the renewal and covers about 65% of the Waterloo Estate.

On completion, it will include 3,000 new homes – made up of social, affordable and private housing – as well as new and improved parks, open spaces, and retail and community facilities.

For more information, refer to the What is the Waterloo South Planning Proposal?

What is the Waterloo South Planning Proposal?

The Department of Planning and Environment’s Waterloo South Planning Proposal sets out suggested planning and development controls for the project. It covers housing, parks, shops and community facilities.

Indicative outcomes for the project set out in the planning proposal include:

  • an estimated 3,012 new homes, including around:
    • 847 (28.2%) social homes
    • 227 (7.5%) affordable homes
    • 1,938 (64.3%) private homes
  • 2,400 m2for new community facilities, which will be managed by the City of Sydney
  • new and improved parks and open spaces, including a main park that is more than 2 ha and a second, smaller park of around 0.25 ha.

Public exhibition of the planning proposal closed on 29 April 2022. The feedback we received during the exhibition will help shape the final plans for Waterloo South.

For more information, visit the Waterloo South Planning Proposal.

Will the project deliver more social housing than is currently in Waterloo South?

The Waterloo South redevelopment will include 98 more social homes than are currently in this part of the Waterloo Estate.

In addition, 70 new social homes will be built next door at the Waterloo Metro Quarter, and around 95 more social homes will be delivered nearby at Elizabeth Street, Redfern.

This means there will be around 265 extra social homes in the immediate area of Waterloo.

Why can’t the NSW Land and Housing Corporation build 100% social housing at Waterloo South?

Our role is to actively grow and manage the supply of the right types of housing, at the right time, in the right areas, for people in need in our communities.

We are currently building new homes and updating existing social housing stock so that more people and families in need can live in better-quality housing. One of the ways we’re doing this is by working with the private, community and not-for-profit housing sectors to deliver mixed housing communities.

Also known as ‘mixed tenure’, these developments deliver new social, affordable and private housing, along with improved place and social outcomes. This includes more open, green space, improved community facilities, retail spaces, and connections to transport, employment and education opportunities.

In mixed housing communities, the new social housing is well designed and indistinguishable from the private and affordable housing.

Improved housing and infrastructure helps improve education and employment outcomes, and reduce disadvantage, crime and anti-social behaviour.

By redeveloping old social housing estates into new mixed housing communities, we’re creating opportunities for neighbourhood renewal alongside new homes for current and future residents and first and new home buyers.

Estate renewals leverage NSW Government-owned land to deliver more social and affordable housing and generate private housing supply, ultimately giving more people access to a place to call home.

Will new social housing at Waterloo South look different to private housing?

No. Part of the success of mixed housing communities is that social and private housing are indistinguishable. For more information, explore Good Design for Social Housing and the Land and Housing Corporation Dwelling Requirements (PDF, 421.67 KB).

The social housing will be appropriately sized to provide quality housing that meets the needs of current and future Waterloo residents. All homes will be built to Silver Level Standard of the Liveable Housing Design Guidelines to increase accessibility.

Who will manage the social and affordable housing?

It will be managed by a community housing provider (to be appointed as part of the process to find a development partner). For more information on this process, refer to Where are we up to now in terms of the development process?

How will residents be supported during relocations?

We are working with the Department of Communities and Justice (DCJ) to prepare a relocations strategy. This will include stages and timing of relocations, detailed information on the relocations process, and support to help residents through change. This information will be made public in early 2023.

Our expectation – to be confirmed through the relocations strategy – is that no social housing residents will need to physically move from their homes until early 2024.

Relocations will be staged over several years to minimise effects on the community, and we will give residents at least 6 months’ notice before they must relocate.

A DCJ Relocation Officer will meet with residents when they are first asked to move, to understand their housing requirements and find a suitable property that meets individual needs.

Will current social housing residents in Waterloo South be able to return after redevelopment?

If you are a current resident, you will be able to return to the Waterloo Estate if you still meet the eligibility criteria for social housing and suitable housing that meets your needs is available.

Residents could also be relocated into vacant properties in the surrounding area or new homes at Metro Quarter (above the Waterloo Metro Station). They could also be moved back into the Waterloo Estate as new social homes become available.

How will the project meet the needs of First Nations people?

The Gadigal of the Eora Nation are the Traditional Custodians of the place we now call Waterloo.

We are committed to supporting and improving outcomes for the Aboriginal community, and to respecting and celebrating the integral role that Aboriginal and Torres Strait culture and heritage plays in the area.

We will work collaboratively with the Aboriginal Housing Office and the local Aboriginal community to identify opportunities to improve outcomes for Aboriginal people through the design, planning, delivery and operational phases of the project.

This includes ensuring that a minimum of 10% of all new social and all new affordable housing will be dedicated to Aboriginal residents, and that culturally appropriate asset and tenancy management services are available.

We will also prioritise Aboriginal procurement and workforce participation during construction to create more job opportunities for the local Aboriginal community.