Chester Hill and Villawood East Affordable Housing Project

Sydney NSW Australia

Housing affordability has become an increasingly discussed and debated topic across Australia’s cities. But what is being done across the various level of Government to tackle the problem is rising property prices and the growing gap between households that can and can’t afford property?
SJB Urban are currently leading a team of consultants that include Aspect Studios (landscape architecture), Urban Concepts (consultation), Davis Langdon (quantity surveyor) and SBE (sustainability), and in partnership with SJB Planning and SJB Architects for the Chester Hill and Villawood East Affordable Housing Project.
The project is being delivered as part of the Federal Government's Housing Affordability Fund (HAF), which seeks to improve the supply of affordable housing through planning reform and contributing to infrastructure costs. The Chester Hill and Villawood East projects are being managed by Housing NSW (now divided between the Department of Finance and Services and Department of Family and Community Services) and programmed to run concurrently, in order to align with Bankstown Council’s work on their Local Area Plans (precursor to their new Local Environment Plan).
Chester Hill and Villawood East were selected due to the concentration, coverage and development potential of public housing properties. The existing stock require considerable investment to maintain current housing standards, which is prescriptive and often leads to vacant and demolished properties.
In Chester Hill over 650 dwellings (across a suburb of approximately 2,500 dwellings) are in control of Housing NSW, most of which are within 800 m radius of the train station. The suburb is well established and serviced by public transport, retail, education and community uses. Villawood East is a more traditional housing estate with Housing NSW’s 740 properties accounting for approximately 70% of all suburb. Also located within close proximity to Villawood train station the internalised layout of the estate, boundary conditions and adjacent uses all have an impact on access to services and activities.

In addition to the aims of the HAF (i.e. more affordable housing) the project also seeks to achieve a number of objectives. These include:

  • Maintain the existing numbers of public housing whilst reducing their concentration (proportionately), i.e. increasing density and introducing new private housing
  • Improve the socio-economic and environmental conditions affecting the daily lives of the communities in these two adjacent suburbs
  • Deliver a comprehensive and transparent consultation program that engages local tenants, key government and non-government stakeholders, and the broader community, i.e. encompassing all properties within a 800m catchment of the site boundary, which is over 8,000 properties for both Chester Hill and Villawood East
  • Prepare masterplans that are tested against current market conditions and can be embedded in the planning process through the Council’s Local Area Plans, and eventually the LEP
  • Support all proposals with a tested Implementation Plan and Marketing Strategy, prepared in consultation with NSW Treasury and Housing NSW

The team at SJB Urban are excited by the scope and rigor of the project. Approaches and techniques are being developed specifically for this project that can be adapted for portfolio of work across all SJB studios, particularly in relation to consultation and residential density.


Chester Hill and Villawood East, Sydney, NSW


Urban Regeneration Awards

SJB Urban, Planning and Architecture
Sub-consultants include: Urban Concepts, Aspect Studios, GTA, Davis Langdon, Elton Consulting and SBE

NSW Land and Housing Corporation

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