Housing reforms empower new ways of living

Housing in NSW will be more diverse and better suited to modern lifestyles after the State Government finalised a suite of planning reforms that will give NSW residents more options when it comes to choosing a home.

Minister for Planning and Public Spaces Rob Stokes said public feedback had shaped the new Housing State Environmental Planning Policy (SEPP) which puts in place planning controls to deliver housing to meet the needs of the whole community.

“The community was loud and clear in their feedback on the draft policy. The way we live in 2021 is very different to the past and we need a fresh approach to housing to accommodate our modern lifestyles,” Mr Stokes said.

“People want to live in a place that suits their wishes, whether that’s a house, a flat, a room with shared facilities or a place they own or rent and our reforms will provide the flexibility to deliver that.”

The new Housing SEPP simplifies planning rules, reducing five policies to one, making it easier for industry and the community to navigate the planning system to understand what can be built and where.

“We’ve already made it easier to build social housing and put rules in place around build-to-rent developments. This is the next step in providing affordable, livable homes for people at all stages of life.

“Modern homes – particularly for an ageing population – need to be well connected to services, amenities and transport and our reforms will ensure these are considered throughout the planning system.”

The Housing SEPP improves a number of state housing policies, including:

  • Introducing rules for co-living housing, an emerging communal type of home where people share living spaces;
  • Ensuring boarding houses are built in appropriate places, are affordable and meet high design standards; and
  • Improving the rules for seniors housing to make sure they are delivered close to services, and enable people to age in the communities they know and love.

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