Over the last decade, in response to escalating problems of disrepair, social dysfunction and obsolete and poorly located stock, many state housing jurisdictions have introduced policies aimed at restructuring larger public housing estates. This has involved the physical redevelopment of these estates and implementing programs of dwelling and land sales, often in partnership with local government, private sector project managers and developers. By 2003 all SHAs had either implemented or were in the process of implementing estate renewal programs in which stock or land on targeted estates is redeveloped for sale in areas previously dominated by public housing.
The key social repercussion of these polices has been the diversification of housing tenure on these estates from public rental to a position where public housing is usually in a minority and home ownership and, to a lesser extent, private rental, has increased. This tenure diversification process has not only been seen as an important method of releasing the latent land values on these estates to fund the renewal process and revaluing otherwise devalued public housing stock, but has also been closely associated with a range of social benefits for the remaining tenants. An important outcome has been to promote greater social mix in these estates with higher proportions of economically active households moving in, from which a range of social benefits for remaining tenants have been imputed.
This report presents the findings of research that aimed to assess the extent to which the various objectives of tenure diversification policies have been achieved. The objectives of these policies centred on three broad outcome areas: asset management outcomes, housing management outcomes and social welfare outcomes. The research was conducted in four public housing estates undergoing renewal programs and four ‘control’ estates where no renewal has been undertaken. These estates were located in Queensland, New South Wales, South Australia and West Australia and the research involved focus groups with residents and interviews with stakeholders