New guidelines for the design and construction of new social housing in New South Wales have been released.
The guidelines aim to support project partners such as architects, project managers and developers, and replace the NSW Land and Housing Corporation’s (LAHC) 35-page Design Standards 2014 document.
Developed by the LAHC in partnership with the Government Architect NSW, the requirements apply to all new LAHC dwellings, with a focus on building scale considerations, and specific requirements for social housing that differ from market housing.
LAHC acting chief executive Deborah Brill says the documents, titled Good Design for Social Housing and LAHC Dwelling Requirements, aim to improve the tenant experience and will guide the design for contemporary and modern social housing in the state.
“The LAHC Dwelling Requirements document informs design quality for; environmental performance; operational effectiveness; and tenant well-being, within cost parameters,” Brill said.
“By deliberately planning and designing new homes with solid structure and character from the start, we ultimately deliver better longer-lasting results for vulnerable people.”
The announcement comes as the NSW government is tipped to spend hundreds of millions of dollars on social housing when NSW treasurer Dominic Perrottet hands down the state’s budget next month.
While there’s no detail yet about the level of funding, Community Housing Industry Association (CHIA) NSW says the scale of support needed in the state is 5,000 social housing properties a year, over the next 10 years.
The state currently has more than 50,000 households on the social housing waiting list, a queue that CHIA NSW chief executive Mark Degotardi expects to grow as the economic impact of COVID-19 continues to be felt.
“At the same time we know that homelessness is set to increase by as much as 16,000 people as a result of the pandemic,” Degotardi said.
LAHC is currently working on 46 housing projects in Western Sydney, across Blacktown, Cumberland, Penrith and the Hawkesbury.
So what does this mean for you?
Well, you might see an uptick in construction over the next few years. Last month, construction started on the new social housing development in Lidcombe. The $96 million project is a partnership with Sydney-based developer Billbergia Group (known for Brisbane Skytower) located at 2-36 Church Street and will span 375 units and 63 social housing apartments subject to amended planning approval. Work on a new social housing project in St Marys, at 14-18 Philip Street, also started last month. The $16 million project is a partnership with construction company Growthbuilt.
You can also expect property prices in these suburbs to grow over the next couple of years. This may make it an ideal place to invest for some looking to buy low and sell high (if you’re comfortable holding on to your property for a while).