Engagement session with Miller's Point residents

Facilitating tenants’ input into the Millers Point social housing review

NSW Land and Housing Corporation

Social Impact Assessment of the sale of further social housing in Millers Point

In 2013, social housing properties accounted for around 83% of dwellings in Millers Point, located at the north-western edge of the Sydney CBD, between The Rocks and Barangaroo, with some families living in the area for over six generations.

The area was undergoing strong transition, with an increasing ageing population and decreasing number of children and families, and increasing residents with complex social issues moving there due to Housing NSW’s Allocation Policy.

Cred was engaged by NSW Land and Housing Corporation to undertake an independent Social Impact Assessment (SIA) to identify the potential social impacts that may result from the Land and Housing Corporation’s evaluation of social housing in Millers Point, Sydney.

An important part of the evaluation was to ensure that the community had input into the review process and to ensure that the social impacts of any decision were understood and considered.

TA presentation to Miller's Point residents

Cred took part in sessions with Miller’s Point residents to inform the Social Impact Assessment (Source: Cred Consulting)

Our approach

Historically recognised as a ‘working class’ area with connections to the early days of European settlement and Sydney’s working harbour past, Millers Point features on the NSW State Heritage Register as a “living cultural landscape” for both its social and physical character.

An important part of the evaluation was to ensure that the present community had input into the review process, and to ensure that the social impacts of any decision were considered and understood.

Our approach included:

  • Engagement with the community, and
  • determining a list of mitigation principles to minimise social impact, should the government decide to sell public housing in the area’s heritage precinct.

The outcome

The study was based on comprehensive qualitative and quantitative research and was in accordance with the Planning Institute of Australia guidelines.

Cred’s assessment cautioned that relocating social housing tenants could negatively impact on their health and wellbeing, particularly older people who identified strong connections with the area and their neighbours. We highlighted that many tenants talked about not having other friends or family support systems, and the high dependence they had on their relationships in Millers Point.

Sadly, the outcomes predicted by Cred were realised when the State Government moved the Millers Point tenants.

“Four years on, these impacts have been sadly realised. Sydney MP Alex Greenwich and staff in the City have kept in contact with many former tenants and have heard them speak of the stress and intimidation they experienced during the relocation – separated from their homes, history and community.

Some relocated tenants have told us they feel extremely lonely and isolated. They no longer feel a sense of connection and belonging to the area they are living in which has reduced their sense of safety and quality of life”.

– Sydney Lord Mayor, Clover Moore

City of Sydney Minute to the Lord Mayor on Sydney’s Social Housing Crisis.

(Source: Millers Point – A Community Under the Hammer, Sydney Morning Herald).