The Harbour City will get more social housing under a new proposal backed by the City of Sydney.

Council has endorsed a planning proposal initiated by the NSW Land and Housing Corporation to create more social housing at 17-31 Cowper Street and 2A-2D Wentworth Park Road, Glebe as part of a new residential development.

The site is owned by the NSW Government’s Land and Housing Corporation and currently provides 19 social housing dwellings in two-storey townhouses. Under the new proposal, this could increase to a total of 35 social housing units.

Two new residential buildings are proposed for the site, with heights up to eight storeys. There will be a total of 74 apartments, with the northern building accommodating social housing and the southern building accommodating market housing.

Lord Mayor Clover Moore says that Council is committed to using every opportunity to increase the supply of social housing at a time of great need.

“The pandemic has intensified Sydney’s housing and homelessness crisis, creating an even more pressing need for social housing in the inner city,” Moore says.

“There are around 60,000 people on the NSW Government’s waitlist, and people often wait five to ten years for social housing to become available in our local area. This simply isn’t good enough.”

“While social housing is the responsibility of NSW Government, we are using all levers to create more social and affordable housing for our residents,” she says.

The proposed planning controls for the site will increase maximum building height and floor space ratio, allowing for a high-quality residential development, with a mix of social and market housing, plus ground floor non-residential spaces.

The land owner has proposed that up to 47 percent of the apartments on the site will be social housing.

The City has identified the need for an additional 14,000 affordable and social housing dwellings by 2036.

The planning proposal is consistent with the Greater Sydney Region Plan, Eastern City District Plan and the City's local strategic planning statement, which all identify the need for more social and affordable housing.