Willoughby Council secures twenty-five new homes for key workers to be managed by EchoRealty 

Willoughby City Council has new affordable homes for key workers following the completion of a development on the site of the former Channel 9 building in Willoughby. 

Working in partnership with Evolve Housing’s profit-for-purpose real estate agency EchoRealty, Council is offering 13 brand new homes to key workers living and/or working in the Willoughby local government area on low to moderate incomes – including retail workers, nurses, school teachers, and emergency services staff – at 20% less than the median weekly rent. An additional 12 units on the same site will be available from August 2024, bringing the Council’s total affordable housing portfolio to 62 units. 

The new units were transferred to Council upon completion as part of a planning agreement with Mirvac, the developer of the project. Council’s Affordable Housing Strategy underpins the agreement, recognising that affordable housing is an essential part of social infrastructure which increases economic productivity in the community. 

The site was previously home to Channel Nine, which for over 60 years broadcast some of Australia’s best-known television shows including Bandstand, Wide World of Sport, A Current Affair and 60 Minutes from the site in Willoughby. 

Willoughby City Council Mayor Tanya Taylor said: 

“Essential workers are increasingly finding themselves at the sharp end of Sydney’s housing crisis, with rising costs and lack of supply pricing them out of the market. Willoughby, like communities across New South Wales, relies on key workers and the services they provide, so the least we can do is use our available resources to try and make sure they have somewhere to live. 

“Council is committed to increasing overall housing supply in the area in line with state targets, and will continue seeking creative solutions to make as much of that housing as affordable as possible.” 

Evolve Housing Group CEO Lyall Gorman said: 

“Essential workers are among the hardest working in our community, but soaring rents are preventing them from living within a reasonable commuting distance of their workplace. This project with Willoughby Council will allow essential workers to live in a high-quality environment and cut down on their commute time without having to stretch their budget as well as a positive impact on their quality of life. 

“We are proud to be working with Council and to invest in key worker housing to produce the significant benefits it brings to communities and the vital workers within them.” 

Notes to editors 

  1. Information on eligibility for the units is available online, alongside the tenancy policy advertised by Echo Realty: https://www.echorealty.com.au/wp-content/uploads/2024/05/ER008.3-Willoughby-City-Council-Affordable-Housing-Tenancy-Policy-1.pdf 
  1. Evolve Housing is a Tier 1 Community Housing provider, and its real estate agency Echo Realty is the largest affordable housing provider in New South Wales. 
  1. Further information on Willoughby City Council’s affordable housing strategy is available on the Council website. 
  1. For details of the development itself, see: https://nine.mirvac.com/ 

Read the council media release here.

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