Revitalizing and marketing social housing estates: a case of "It puts your value down, I think if you've got them all around"?
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Increasingly in Australia social housing estate regeneration programs involve partnerships between the public sector and private property developers. Using "The Parks Regeneration Project" as a case study, this paper explores questions about the way the new community is being created through changing housing amenity and restructuring the social mix of the area. Social mix refers to the mix of housing tenures and socioeconomic variance of residents. While policy makers and private developers consider these aspects as crucial components of regeneration, the findings of the study suggest that changes to these characteristics will not automatically benefit disadvantaged social housing tenants. These strategies are more concerned with constructing place for those they want to consume it, new incoming more affluent middle-income homebuyers, rather than benefiting the most disadvantaged residents. Questions are raised about the commodification of what was previously public space and reductions to the stock of social housing and what the overall consequences and policy implications of these actions are likely to be. It is argued that the entry of private capital and the buying and selling of place through regeneration, to attract more affluent residents to the estates is likely to add to, rather than ameliorate the inequality of social housing residents in these areas.