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Affordable housing on closed rail corridor

The NSW Government has announced that an inner-city affordable housing development for 30 new dwellings will be delivered by Community Housing Provider (CHP) Evolve Housing on Newcastle‘s former rail corridor as foreshadowed by the NSW Planning Minister the Hon. Anthony Roberts MP in 2017.
Parliamentary Secretary for the Hunter Scot MacDonald MLC said the announcement was a milestone for the revitalisation of the city and for the people who rely on affordable housing opportunities.
“Hunter Development Corporation (HDC) has led a competitive expression of interest (EOI) process,” Mr MacDonald said.
“Evolve Housing has been successful and has committed to delivering 30 affordable rental housing units, which includes three specialist disability accommodation dwellings, giving more people greater access to a thriving city centre.”
“It can be challenging to deliver affordable housing projects, located in key positions like this with attractive public domain, a future light rail stop and proximity to CBD employment.
This delivers on NSW Government commitments including maintaining a strong community presence on the closed heavy rail corridor.”
Andrea Galloway, Managing Director and CEO of Evolve Housing said that by committing to affordable housing and specialist disability accommodation they were working with Government to support the local community to thrive.
“We see every day the positive impact these type developments have on communities and we are very proud to provide the expertise to make the project possible,” Ms Galloway said.
HDC released the EOI late last year for the Merewether Street site, which incorporated 1,600 sqm of former rail corridor land adjacent to Newcastle Museum.
“The development will include two retail spaces on the ground floor, which will provide activation to Merewether Street and the future public open space at the former Civic Station,” Mr MacDonald said.
“HDC has worked hard to ensure the success of this opportunity, and I applaud them for pursuing affordable housing as a part of the holistic revitalisation of the city.
“As affordable housing is designed to give people a step up, only people who are employed on middle to low incomes, and meet strict criteria are eligible to apply for the rental accommodation.
“What Evolve Housing is also bringing to the project is supported living for people living with a disability – this creates another option for people who otherwise end up in full-care facilities.
“Over coming months, HDC will work with Evolve as it prepares to lodge a Development Application, which is expected around mid-year, with construction a possibility by the end of the year.”