Draft planning policy ensures NSW boarding houses are affordable

By Shannon Jenkins

Tuesday August 3, 2021

Rob Stokes
NSW Minister for Planning and Public Spaces Rob Stokes. (AAP Image/Mick Tsikas)

The New South Wales government has unveiled a draft policy that aims to ensure housing across the state is affordable and meets the changing needs of the community.

The proposed Housing State Environmental Planning Policy (SEPP) will consolidate five existing housing-related SEPPs, and will introduce a number of new and updated provisions.

This includes mandating that boarding house rooms are rented at an affordable rate and managed by a registered community housing provider, and introducing co-living housing — housing designed for community living — as a housing option.

The SEPP also sets out zones where seniors housing will be permissible ‘to provide more certainty for councils and the community, and to encourage development in accessible locations’, the state government noted.

Other provisions included in the proposed policy relate to short-term rental accommodation, build-to-rent housing, and social housing.

Planning minister Rob Stokes said the policy has offered new housing types and tenures to accommodate Sydney’s growing population.

“As our population grows and changes, so do our housing needs. Traditional housing arrangements are just not suitable for many, especially those on low incomes,” he said.

“The changes streamline planning pathways in support of local strategic planning, so we get the right mix of housing types in the right locations.”

Consultation on the draft Housing SEPP is open until August 29. The government expects the policy to be finalised in October.

The draft policy has been unveiled two months after the NSW Productivity Commission released a white paper recommending that the state government pursue policies that increase the supply of the right types of housing, to deliver benefits to the economy.

Read more: NSW government launches resource to improve design and delivery of social housing


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