14 May 2016
This is an excerpt only. Please click here to view the original article (paywall)
Two years into a $400 million state government sell-off of public housing, Sydney’s Millers Point has become one of the city’s most desirable residential locales, attracting professionals, downsizers and a growing number of children.
Planners argue the process will boost the residential population within the city, while preserving historic properties to a standard better than any government initiative could achieve.
Peruvian-born resident Dora Lincoln and her London-born husband spent more than two years navigating a maddeningly prescriptive conservation program after buying their home in Argyle Place in 2011 as part of a separate tranche of homes that were put to market between 2008 and 2011 on 99-year leases.
The couple renovated the crumbling terrace, with enviable high ceilings and a large backyard, into a stylish family home in which they now live with their children, Victoria, 5, and Charles, 6.
Tim Blythe from planning company Urbis points at Ms Lincoln as an example of how the plan works — homes are restored and the population increases. But the composition of the suburb will inevitably shift, he said: “The thing to be mindful of is that it will change the demographic of the area.”
Mr Blythe dismisses the notion that the transformation has come at the cost of social integration, saying council-led initiatives to build up social and affordable housing in inner-city areas including Glebe, Green Square and the City of Sydney ensure that social housing will always be a feature of the inner city.