This report analyses how evaluation and learning from public housing renewal is informing policy development and delivery to maximise financial returns and socio-economic outcomes. The research was conducted pre-COVID-19.

Key points:

  • Public housing renewal provides an opportunity for policy makers to give direction to urban reconfiguration processes. Since the 2000s public housing renewal has increasingly become part of a policy discourse that places emphasis on ‘unlocking’ under-utilised sites (i.e. public housing estates) for jobs, investment and urban renewal. In this intersection with urban renewal processes, mixed-tenure public housing renewal, in practice, becomes public housing urban renewal.
  • This research highlights a consistency of views across stakeholders (often on pragmatic grounds) regarding ‘how public housing renewal works’. It is thus possible to conceptualise learning and evaluation in public housing renewal policy-making within an advocacy coalition framework (ACF).
  • The policy core belief guiding public housing urban renewal is characterised by a shared belief in the instrumental role of land values and land value change as a means of reconciling multiple asset- and people-based outcomes, while controlling the cost of public policy to public budgets. Mixed tenure, housing density and the strategic leveraging of land are policies that also extract land value for public housing reinvestment and other public policy goals.
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AHURI Final Report 358