Battle for Waterloo


The Issue

On 15th December 2015, the residents of Waterloo Public Housing Estate received a letter from the NSW State Government informing them about the “exciting” redevelopment of the Waterloo Estate. Suffice it to say the residents were caught off guard and not “excited” about the turn of events. The residents decided to mobilise themselves to fight against the demolition of their homes and quickly formed the Waterloo Public Housing Action Group.

This group has been instrumental in negotiating with the State Government to listen to the concerns of the residents, to ensure the needs of the vulnerable public housing tenants are met, and to advocate for a better overall outcome for the future of their community.

The Idea

The residents struggled to understand the jargon and convoluted diagrams in the official documents, and we’re unable to provide informed feedback on the future of their community.We provided support to WPHAG by:

  • translating official documents into plain English and easy-to-understand graphics to help the residents understand the redevelopment plans
  • conducting capacity building workshops on design and architecture so residents can better understand the future design of their community & environment, and advocate for their needs
  • conducting consultation meetings & gathering residents’ questions and requests into a consolidated report to submit to the State Government

Our Impact

WPHAG's advocacy activities and fierce negotiation were instrumental in amplifying the voices of the public housing community, as well as keeping them up-to-date and informed on the most recent developments to the plans.

Some critical changes that WPHAG was able to negotiate for included:

  • the release of more detailed plans and an official statement from the State Government following the release of a bare-bones Waterloo Redevelopment Brochure
  • a commitment to provide ground-level community gardens in the redevelopment, instead of roof-top gardens
  • mobilising the resident community to advocate for the City of Sydney's alternative master plan to be considered over the LAHC preferred master plan
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