Planning reforms to deliver social and affordable housing

The NSW Government will use new NSW planning laws to focus State-owned Housing Corporations on tackling the State’s housing crisis, by building more social and affordable homes, faster. 

The changes will prioritise the delivery of social and affordable housing in places where people want to live, closer to jobs and accessible to people who need it most.

The major reforms will provide the NSW Land and Housing Corporation (LAHC) and the Aboriginal Housing Office (AHO) with an expanded State Significant Development (SSD) approval pathway for projects with more than 75 homes or more than $30 million capital investment.

In addition, Landcom will have access to the same pathway where any project it develops contains at least 50% affordable housing.

Applications made through the SSD pathway must still meet rigorous checks and balances and the SSD process includes opportunities for councils and communities to input and comment on the housing proposal.

Other reforms announced today include:

  • Changes to existing self-assessment powers for LAHC and AHO, increasing from 60 dwellings and 2 storeys to 75 dwellings and 3 storeys. Self-approval will mean a faster pathway to the start of construction.
  • Landcom will have the same self-assessment powers for affordable housing developments of up to 75 dwellings as well as access to a State Significant Development pathway for developments over $30 million where at least 50% is affordable housing.
  • Reducing the minimum lot size to 400m2 for dual occupancies being delivered as a complying development by LAHC, AHO, Community Housing Providers and Aboriginal Community Housing Providers. This effectively means creating more space for more homes.
  • Social and affordable housing providers will be exempt from attracting State infrastructure contributions.

These changes demonstrate the Government’s commitment to the delivery of affordable housing.

Today’s announcement builds on changes announced last week where the private market was offered incentives to construct new developments as long as they include at least 15% affordable housing.

The changes announced today will take effect later this year.

Further housing supply reforms are also on the horizon, with the Government focused on driving more supply through collaboration with all stakeholders.

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