The NSW government will put another 50 of its historic Millers Point properties to market in the first half of this year, hoping to reap another $100 million to put towards 1,500 new public housing dwellings.
The 47 sales made since August last year have already added a much-greater-than-expected $116 million to government coffers.
Up until recently, the homes were used for public housing, and the government sales have attracted strong opposition as sometimes elderly housing commission residents have had to move out. There are only limited numbers of new housing commission places available in Millers Point, so many long-time Millers Point housing commission residents, often the elderly, are being forced to move out of the area.
The historic properties are expensive to maintain, and the high cost is difficult for the government to justify when there are 57,000 people on the waiting list for public housing.
The properties are heritage listed. New owners will be required to renovate and maintain the properties in line with the NSW Heritage Council's Conservation Management Plans.
The properties being auctioned this week are:
* 20 and 22 Kent Street – neighbouring two and three-bedroom terraces, part of a group of three two-storey properties constructed in the 1870s on the site of a former quarry cutting.
* 28 Kent Street – a four-bedroom, two-storey terrace built in the 1870s.
* 46 Kent Street – known as ‘Chelsea House’, this property is a five bedroom, two-storey terrace built in the early 1870s for local auctioneer, William Higstrim.
* 38 Argyle Place – this four-bedroom residence is part of the ‘Wentworth Terrace’ row built by the prominent Merriman family in 1887-1888.
* 40 Argyle Place – a three-bedroom terrace.
* 60 Argyle Place – a wide, three-bedroom terrace.
* 51 Lower Fort Street – ‘Wendovir’ is a four-bedroom, three-storey terrace constructed in the mid-1880s.
* 63 Lower Fort Street – a three bedroom residence in Vermont Terrace, and an example of early Federation Queen Anne architecture.
* 71 Lower Fort Street – this three-bedroom, two-storey residence is part of Eagleton Terrace, and was built in 1876 by local shipwright, Robert Drysdale.
* 8-12 Trinity Ave – a 10-bedroom, 10-bathroom landmark building on a 759sqm block, considered the ‘jewel in the crown’ of the government property sales. It is relatively well preserved, considering its recent use as a nursing home, but has ample scope for improvement. Darling House is expected to reach around $6 million at auction.
The properties are being marketed by McGrath Estate Agents and will go to auction on Thursday, 24 February.