Charlestown MP Jodie Harrison wants the NSW government to hit the go-button on a "real opportunity" to deliver additional housing supply by redeveloping properties it owns Windale.
More than 150 social housing properties in the suburb were rezoned from low to medium-density last year as part of a joint Lake Macquarie council-state government initiative.
It means the properties, many of which are adjoining, are ripe for redevelopment into townhouses or units.
The government was coy on its plans for the homes during the rezoning process, but said in February it was "exploring opportunities" with the council to increase housing diversity - an objective the council wants to achieve across much of the local government area.
Ms Harrison, who has previously stopped short of endorsing any redevelopment but called for the government to reveal its plans for the rezoned properties, told the Newcastle Herald on Thursday given the extent of social housing waitlists, the age of social housing in the area and the broader housing crisis, now was the time to pursue the project.
"There is a real opportunity now to provide additional housing to deal with the 10 year wait list, and potentially to replace old homes which are in some cases almost uninhabitable," she said.
"There must be communication and consultation about options though - some people have been in their homes for decades and don't deserve to be turfed out because it's convenient.
"We need more diverse housing.
"There are both single-person households and large families who need public housing and there are very few options for diverse families now, which makes it harder to house them comfortably."
Housing Minister Melinda Pavey told the Herald last February that the government would be "crazy not to look at maximising opportunities for better social housing, for more affordable housing" when asked about the potential redevelopment.
The minister was contacted for comment on Thursday, but her office did not respond before deadline.
A redevelopment would include a mix of social, affordable and private dwellings. The viability of such a project is likely to be more favourable now, as Windale's median house price rose 28 per cent in the past year.
Associate professor Kathy Mee, of the University of Newcastle's School of Environmental and Life Sciences, said there was an "urgent need" for more social housing given "how few rental properties are affordable for people on low incomes".
"Social housing provides an affordable and stable option for eligible households which helps them care for their families," she said.
"While investment in more social housing would be welcome, the views of people already making their homes in Windale need to be considered in any regeneration plan.
"Too often, the redevelopment of social housing does not draw upon the existing skills and expertise of the local community or results in an overall decline of social housing.
"We need more social housing and redevelopment plans that involve the local community."
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