Affordable Rental Housing SEPP
It covers housing types including villas, townhouses and apartments which contain an affordable rental housing component, along with secondary dwellings (also known as granny flats), new generation boarding houses, group homes, social housing and supportive accommodation.
Amendments to the Affordable Rental Housing SEPP
The NSW Government announced changes to the policy on 20 May 2011.
The changes involve amending and removing certain provisions of the AHSEPP, and retaining those provisions which encourage new affordable rental housing that is compatible with its surroundings and in locations that are well served by public transport.
The changes will be implemented in two phases:
Stage 1 – Amendments to the AHSEPP
The NSW Government has revised the AHSEPP to stop private developers building townhouses and villas in low density areas, where the development is not compatible with the design of the locality and not well served by public transport. Tougher public transport access and parking standards will apply to new generation boarding houses in low-rise residential areas, while Housing NSW will need to satisfy new parking criteria and comply with council notification policies.
Stage 2 –Taskforce, a new State planning policy and local strategies
This stage involves the formation of an Affordable Housing Taskforce
and the development and implementation of a new Affordable Housing Choice SEPP. It will also involve working with local councils to develop Affordable Housing Choice Strategies to reflect their local housing needs and development characteristics. Once these local strategies have been confirmed as appropriately meeting local affordable housing needs, the council will be able to be exempted from all or certain aspects of the Affordable Housing Choice SEPP.
One-year review of the SEPP
The AHSEPP included a requirement that it be reviewed a year after its commencement. On 20 December 2010, the Department released a discussion paper
which outlined issues raised since the introduction of the SEPP. The Department placed this paper on exhibition until 1 March 2011 and received around 230 submissions.
The feedback indicated general community support for a State planning policy to encourage the development of more affordable rental housing, but it also highlighted the need for the NSW Government to work more closely with councils and the community on the issue of affordable housing. This feedback has helped to inform the Government’s changes to the AHSEPP.
Online assessment tool - Part 3
The online assessment tool
provides an efficient, consistent and transparent way for councils and practitioners to evaluate and assess impacts and mitigate for the loss of low-rental accommodation under Part 3 of the SEPP.
The tool, which can be accessed under AHSEPP - Part 3 information, is simple to use, and requires no training to understand and operate. A guide to using the tool is included on the 'Read Me First' tab.
The Department also publishes a list of the first quartile and median weekly rental by dwelling size for each local government area. The Year 2 heading is for the most recent 12-month period, while the Year 1 heading is for the preceding 12-month period. These two figures define the thresholds against which the rents for each unit in the residential flat building are compared for the previous two years.
SEPP No. 70 – Affordable Housing (Revised Schemes)