Policy changes to boost housing diversity

The Government is making it easier to build more affordable and diverse housing across NSW.

Deputy Secretary of Planning Policy at the Department of Planning and Environment, Brett Whitworth, said changes had been made to the State Environmental Planning Policy (Housing) 2021 to encourage more affordable rental housing in the regions, build-to-rent, aboriginal social housing and seniors’ independent living units.

“This Government is committed to making housing more affordable and accessible for the people of NSW and we’re pulling every lever at our disposal to make it happen, from shared equity schemes to land tax reform and amendments to planning rules,” Mr Whitworth said.

“We’re encouraging the delivery of more affordable rental housing close to jobs, shops and restaurants in our regions, by incentivising ‘infill’ developments within a 10-minute walk from local centres and business areas.

“We’re also increasing the number of build-to-rent (BTR) housing developments that will be considered state significant, speeding up the assessment process.

“The government wants to see every Aboriginal person in NSW in a position to have equal access to affordable housing. To enable this goal, we are providing the Aboriginal Housing Office with the ability to self-assess and fast track the delivery of housing developments with up to 60 homes.”

Specific changes include:

  • Expanding the area for infill affordable housing to take advantage of floorspace bonuses from 400 to 800 metres from business and mixed-use zones in the regions;
  • Extending the infill affordable housing floorspace bonuses to also apply to shop-top housing;
  • Removing the requirement for BTR housing in B3 commercial zones to be readily convertible to another use and lowering the State Significant Development threshold from $100 million to $50 million in Greater Sydney and $30 million elsewhere;
  • Simplifying the minimum lot standards for co-living housing to provide greater consistency;
  • Creating a self-assessment pathway for the Aboriginal Housing Office to self- assess developments of up to 60 homes; and
  • Allowing all seniors living, including independent living unit developments, in R2 Low Density Residential zones.

These changes support the NSW Government’s $2.8 billion investment as part of the 2022-2023 NSW Budget to improve housing supply, fast-track critical infrastructure and offer financial relief for first home buyers over the next four years.

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