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INNOVATIVE POLICY DEVELOPMENT

DUNBAR WAY RESULTS ARE IN

Western Sydney University has completed a review of tenant satisfaction following Pacific Link’s refurbishment of the 100-home Dunbar Way social housing estate in North Gosford.

Pacific Link managed and paid for the refurbishment program in 2014/15 following an agreement that saw the majority of homes placed under Pacific Link management.

Using data and before-and-after tenant interviews, the university review found that prior to the project being implemented, residents saw the estate as stigmatised, fractious, and subject to high levels of antisocial and criminal behaviours such as drug-dealing.

Following the refurbishment, residents reported significant improvements in quality of life for all tenants – many with young children. Most significantly:

  • The installation of CCTV in public areas led to an immediate and significant reduction in crime, with police figures showing a 23% reduction in total crime in the first year; malicious damage down by 83%, and assault down by 25% in the first year.
  • As residents responsible for antisocial or criminal behaviours were moved on by Pacific Link, residents felt they were living in a safer, stronger community.
  • The installation of a new children’s playground was welcomed as giving them a safe place to play – allowing young children once kept indoors to interact with others.
  • The playground was also seen as a positive for supervising parents – bringing them together and helping foster a sense of community across the site.
  • Residents once reluctant to admit they lived in the estate for fear of being stigmatised are now largely optimistic, have a strong commitment to Pacific Link’s objectives and look forward to the continued improvement of the neighbourhood.

As one resident said: “I’ve noticed that it looks a lot cleaner. It looks a lot nicer. We haven’t got as many rough people cruising around, especially because the security cameras that went in as well.”

Others said: “I can tell people without cringing where I live now…”, “I think the children’s playground is great…It has deterred a lot of [previous behaviour] because there are children playing and adults watching them.” “I see it as a lot more social…we have more mums coming in with kids”.

We are now embarking on Phase 2 of the Dunbar Way Refurbishment via Social Housing Community Grants to allow for new Community Gardens, a new Multi-Use Sports Court, a Peak Fitness Outdoor Gym and upgrading of the Community Hub.

Click on link for full report dunbar_way_evaluation.pdf