Sydney to build world-first housing cooperative for trans women

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As part of a NSW initiative to build affordable housing for people at high risk of homelessness, a community housing co-operative for trans women will be developed in Sydney.

The City of Sydney states that increasing the amount of affordable rental housing available

for lower income households is an urgent priority. It has a target of 7.5% of all private dwelling stock to be affordable rental housing and 7.5% to be social housing by 2030.

The City’s excess land program sells vacant or underused council properties to housing organisations at a discount, to be developed for affordable housing targeting at-risk communities. Money from each sale goes towards the affordable and diverse housing fund, which helps community housing providers, not-for-profit and for-profit organisations develop affordable housing within the City of Sydney.

Guardian Australia reports that seven properties will be sold to Common Equity NSW and All Nations Housing Co-operative to develop affordable housing for women within the “highly at-risk” group. The Star Observer states that this development will house 11 trans women in 7 terrace houses.

Other recipients of this excess land program include women with complex needs, while the City of Sydney already ensures that 10% of any affordable housing projects developed from City-owned land or with support from the City of Sydney is dedicated to Aboriginal Affordable Housing.

Clover Moore, Mayor of Sydney, wrote on Instagram “Trans women are some of the most vulnerable people in our society, and often face rejection and isolation from their families of origin and the broader community.”

“Despite the progress we’ve made as a society when it comes to celebrating the contributions and achievements of LGBTIQA+ people, too many trans people regularly experience discrimination and exclusion. Providing safe and affordable housing for trans women is essential for their wellbeing.”

Nick Sabel, CEO of Common Equity NSW, the organisation developing the site, told 9 News “This type of housing and the way they operate will provide (transgender women) with a lot of safety and security and support.”

“We’re very pleased to be able to be working with the City of Sydney on the properties. They were just in the right location and the right configuration for this group … they are a very marginalised and vulnerable cohort and I think this will be a great outcome.”

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