Media releases

Surplus sale creates more affordable housing

Published 13 December 2017

The City of Sydney is creating even more opportunities for social and affordable housing in the inner city, with another subsidised sale of surplus land to a community housing provider bringing the total to more than 1,800 places.

Council has approved the subsidised sale of 11 Gibbons Street Redfern to St George Community Housing (SGCH) to provide 130 to 150 social and affordable housing units, with a focus on supporting people at risk of homelessness.

Lord Mayor Clover Moore said housing affordability in Sydney was at crisis point.

“With rising rental costs and slow wage growth, there are greater numbers of people at risk of becoming homeless,” the Lord Mayor said.

“We are using every mechanism available to us to provide more social and affordable housing in the inner city and over the past year we have enabled hundreds of new social and affordable housing places.

“The social housing units in this inner city development will focus on people who are at risk of becoming homeless and urgently need safe housing.

“Through affordable housing places in the development, essential city workers such as police, teachers and cleaners will be able to afford to live close to where they work.”

The land will be sold below market value at a subsided price of $95,000 per dwelling. The total subsidy will be between $11.25 million and $13.15 million.

SGCH Group CEO Scott Langford said the development would boost the mix of housing options available in inner-Sydney.

"SGCH is delighted to continue working with the City of Sydney and NSW Government to explore innovative options to increase the supply of social and affordable housing. For communities to function and thrive, we rely on the contributions of people from a range of different incomes, occupations and backgrounds,” Mr Langford said.

"Working with willing partners helps us provide housing in prime locations and connect people to transport, education and the economic, social, and cultural opportunities the City of Sydney has to offer.”

The site is home to the City’s Marian Street Depot, which will soon relocate to the new Southern Depot in Alexandria.

SGCH has offered to build and operate a minimum of 130 social and affordable housing units, with around 40 to 60 units being set aside as social housing for people at risk of homelessness. A legal obligation on the land title will ensure the land is used in perpetuity for social and affordable housing.

“Social and affordable housing is primarily the responsibility of state and federal governments, but we are using all the options available to us under existing planning laws to create more affordable homes,” the Lord Mayor said.

“We could do so much more if the NSW Government would respond to our proposal and allow us to extend our affordable housing levies citywide.

“Levies are an effective and financially feasible way of ensuring new developments contribute to affordable rental housing supply and have been proven to work in Ultimo/Pyrmont, Green Square and the Southern Employment Lands.”

The City’s affordable housing levies have provided more than 800 affordable rental housing units for key workers and low income earners.

Through subsidised land sales, the City of Sydney has offered discounts to community housing providers totalling almost $19.5 million.

The City has already contributed to a range of affordable housing projects across the inner city, providing more than 1,031 affordable and social housing dwellings for people on low incomes or at risk of homelessness.

These projects include:

  • 68 Bay Street and 14 Cowper Street, Glebe
  • 895 Bourke Street, Waterloo
  • 74 Botany Road, Alexandria
  • Common Ground in Camperdown
  • The former South Sydney Hospital site
  • Harold Park
  • The Salvation Army in Surry Hills
  • HammondCare in Darlinghurst
  • St George Community Housing in Chippendale
  • Green Square to Ashmore Connector residual lands
The City’s Sustainable Sydney 2030 strategy and affordable rental housing strategy aims to ensure that 7.5 per cent of the City’s housing stock is social or public housing, and 7.5 per cent is affordable housing delivered by ‘not-for-profit’ or other providers.

Council approved the sale and transfer of land at 11 Gibbons Street and authority has been delegated to the CEO to undertake any further negotiations. The contract of sale and associated deed must to be entered into before 28 February 2018.

For media inquiries or images, contact Senior Media Advisor Angela Salt. Phone 0455 958 503 or email

For interviews with Lord Mayor Clover Moore, please contact Communications Officer Julia Lenton. Phone 0410 748 039 or email