With the brief exception of the Building Better Cities Affordable Housing Program in the early 1990s, active housing policies have been largely ignored by all levels of Government for several decades.
As a continuation of the Sustainable Sydney 2030 project, Hill Thalis has been engaged to prepare a master plan on behalf of the City of Sydney and Housing NSW for a pair of sites in Glebe and Ultimo. This affordable housing demonstration project represents a landmark in Local and State Government relations and is likely to be the first project from the initiatives proposed in Sydney 2030 to be realized .
Premier Morris Iemma and Lord Mayor Clover Moore have signed a Memorandum of Understanding committing both levels of Government to the project.
The 3.6 hectare site is comprised of the City of Sydney Bay Street Depot, a currently under-utilized Council holding which fronts Wentworth Park, and a 1960s Housing Commission Estate of three storey walk-ups in desperate need of renewal.
The project proposes up to 700 new social, affordable and market dwellings over ground level retail and commercial uses, affordable work spaces while maintaining a reduced operational depot. Building heights will step from three storeys responding to the small grain of neighbouring Glebe, up to nine storeys matching the heights of the wool stores in Ultimo. Three vibrant new streets are to be introduced breaking up the large amalgamated blocks, whilst Blackwattle Lane is to be rejuvenated with a best practice water sensitive urban design treatment.