Neighbours say redevelopment of a derelict public housing complex in Wollongong will be beneficial for those in need and the community overall.
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 and some parts of the site boarded up.
About 60 new affordable, social and private housing dwellings will soon be established at the site.
One nearby resident, Shaun*, 60, said the site had recently "been an eyesore... Boarded up and looking pretty horrible".
The site is now 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.
The redevelopment will entail a knockdown-rebuild of the site, with the demolition having begun recently.
"It'll be good to see it tidied up, and I'm glad there will be a social housing component," Shaun said.
A Department of Planning, Industry and Environment spokesperson said redevelopment of the site is the subject of a current tender evaluation process.
"A preferred proponent is expected to be announced shortly, which will be responsible for delivering a new mixed-tenure development comprising of social, affordable and privately owned units," the spokesperson said.
"The preferred proponent will fund all of the development costs, with the government to retain ownership of the newly completed social housing component."
Communities Plus projects target a mix of 70 per cent private and 30 per cent social and affordable housing.
Neighbours were pleased about the redevelopment.
Ralph Chiaverini, owner of the neighbouring Chicko's takeaway restaurant said the redevelopment would be a positive, and an aesthetic improvement.
"It'll be a new building, more residents, good for the area," he said.
"There's a lot of new development going on in Wollongong, which is good for the area. The population is set to increase a great deal... It'll be good for us, and be good for everybody in Wollongong."
Daniel Hopper, director of creative communications for the Catholic Diocese of Wollongong, said they'd enjoyed a positive relationship with past tenants of the complex.
"I think it's a great thing that they're going to have some new affordable housing for those that need it," he said. "I suppose it's good for it to have an upgrade to the facilities as well."
The Department of Planning spokesperson said once the contract has been awarded, the preferred proponent will then prepare and lodge a development application with Wollongong council.
*Name changed by request