Expressions of Interest being sought to deliver about 60 new affordable, social and private housing dwellings at Crown Street, Wollongong

Minister for Social Housing Pru Goward and Anne Skewes, deputy secretary of the Land and Housing Corporation at the Crown Street site on Tuesday. Picture: Adam McLean
Minister for Social Housing Pru Goward and Anne Skewes, deputy secretary of the Land and Housing Corporation at the Crown Street site on Tuesday. Picture: Adam McLean

Innovative proposals are being sought to deliver about 60 new affordable, social and private housing dwellings at a Crown Street site. 

The Wollongong site is part of the NSW government’s Communities Plus program that utilises social housing sites for redevelopment to provide more social housing mixed with private and affordable housing. 

A fire at 15-19 Crown Street, Wollongong in 2016 led to the loss of six of the complex’s 22 units, with the affected tenants subsequently relocated to alternative accommodation.

The apartment fire near the corner of Crown and Harbour Streets. Photo: supplied

The apartment fire near the corner of Crown and Harbour Streets. Photo: supplied

Minister for Social Housing Pru Goward said they were hoping the redevelopment would increase the number of dwellings to about 60.

“If we go to 15 storeys as the neighbours are, it might be even more,” she said. 

Expressions of interest are now open for the redevelopment. 

Regarding the existing tenants at the complex, Ms Goward said they had reserved some properties nearby where they can move to while the redevelopment takes place.

“We’re hopeful that if we start building the middle of next year, then the redevelopment will be finished in 2022 and they can move back in,” she said. 

“Of course, by then, some of them will be happy to stay where they have gone… (But) they will get the first choice (of the new dwellings).”

Ms Goward said the exact make-up of the redevelopment will depend on the total number of units built, but the government believed the 70 per cent private to 30 per cent public and affordable housing ratio was about the right mix. 

The redevelopment would entail a knockdown-rebuild of the site. 

“We know that there are some really interesting design possibilities,” Ms Goward said. 

“(After the EOI) we’ll see which ones we can let go to the proposal stage next year.”

The Minister said because the development land value at the site is so great, the government’s contribution to the project is the land.

“The developer builds it and pays for the development, and then keeps 70 per cent of that for sale, and gives us 30 per cent of it,” she said. 

“That’s how it works financially. So in exchange for the land, we get 30 per cent of the building housing units.”

Parliamentary Secretary for the Illawarra and South Coast Gareth Ward said he anticipated strong interest from community housing providers and members of the private and not-for-profit sectors. 

“We are looking for innovative proposals that emphasise great design to deliver Wollongong’s first mixed community of social, affordable and private housing,” Mr Ward said.

EOI applicants are required to demonstrate their financial capacity, experience and capability to deliver the project. 

Shortlisted respondents will be invited to participate in the Request for Proposal in 2019. 

The Crown Street Wollongong EOI close October 31.