A proposal for a flagship 160 apartment development located at 11 Gibbons Street Redfern has received development approval for one of Australia's largest community housing providers SGCH.
The 18-storey $90 million development will deliver a mixture of 1, 2 and 3-bedroom units, including ground floor retail and commercial space, management office and a community hub.
SGCH is buying the Redfern site, which was previously a council depot, from the City of Sydney for $15.2 million.
SGCH chief executive Scott Langford says the project is an important piece of social infrastructure.
“[Located] in a high demand location with excellent access to public transport and major employment centres,” Langford said.
“It’s a critical project moment and brings us closer to the day we welcome 160 households into their new home in the heart of Redfern.”
SGCH, a not-for-profit community housing provider, is working with Joe Hurst from the Boomali Aboriginal Artists Co-Op to include Aboriginal art as part of the building fabric, including the brick façade, lobby and the communal open space.
The site, which was made available for social and affordable housing, is part of a state significant area known as the Redfern Waterloo Growth Centre.
The project is in partnership with the City of Sydney, through the discounted land contribution, and project financiers Clean Energy Finance Corporation (CEFC).
The application was lodged with the Department of Planning and Environment in September last year, with construction expected to commence next month.
The development is the outcome of a design excellence pilot program with the NSW government architect.
Lord Mayor Clover Moore said the city of Sydney was exploring new ways to increase the supply of affordable housing in the city.
“Including through selling land at discounted rates and through our Alternative Housing Ideas Challenge which will help develop new housing models and new ways of thinking about housing finance, management and design.”
Affordable housing enables key workers, the likes of teachers, nurses and firemen to live close to their place of employment.
“Ensuring our city remains diverse and inclusive,” Moore said.
SGCH, which develops buildings with sustainability standards through its partnership with CEFC, now houses around 11,000 people in more than 6,300 homes across the Sydney Metropolitan Region.
It has a development pipeline of 1000 dwellings to be delivered by 2022.
The new Redfern building will be energy efficient with an 8-star rating under the Nationwide House Energy Rating Scheme (NatHERS), providing increased thermal comfort and reduced household energy costs, a vital factor for low income households in social and affordable housing.