A complex devastated by fires will be demolished and transformed into a radical new development that could see residents of public and private housing living together within four years.
The government of New South Wales has opened a tender for expressions of interest for the reconstruction of a public housing complex in the CBD of Wollongong, south of Sydney.
The Crown Street site is the latest project in the government's Communities Plus program that transforms small-scale social housing compounds into revitalized communities throughout Sydney and the New South Wales region.
The transformation to Wollongong is expected to be similar to that planned for the Ivanhoe farm in Macquarie Park (artist's impression in the photo)
This site at 15-19 Crown Street Wollongong will be demolished and rebuilt as part of the Communities Plus program of the NSW Government
Six of the 22 units in the Wollongong complex were lost when the complex was damaged by fire in 2016.
The social housing minister, Pru Goward, expects to see the design proposals for the remodeling, which is expected to consist of 60 homes.
"If we go to 15 floors like the neighbors, it could be even more," Goward told Illawarra Mercury.
The proportion of housing is expected to be 70 percent private to 30 percent public.
Existing public tenants will be relocated during the redevelopment.
"We are hopeful that if we start building in the middle of next year, then the remodeling will be completed in 2022 and they can re-enter," said Ms. Goward.
"Of course, by then, some of them will be happy to stay where they left … (But) they will get the first option (of the new housing)."
The announcement provoked a mixed reaction from local residents.
"I have lived in a social housing complex and would never consider buying an apartment in one," one woman tweeted.
The Crown Street complex was damaged by fire two years ago, which dripped six units
But others see it as a good idea.
"This is normal in Canberra, public housing is mixed in all the suburbs and most of the developments," one person said.
Another added: "Much smarter than pushing all the tenants of housing, which causes ghettos, it is better to integrate."
The NSW government's Communities Plus program will provide up to 23,500 new and replacement housing for social and affordable housing and up to 40,000 private homes throughout the state over the next ten years.
Social housing minister Pru Goward (pictured) wants to see the Wollongong site expand from 22 units to 60