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One of the objectives of the Environmental Planning and Assessment Act 1979 is the delivery and maintenance of affordable housing. 

The NSW Government supports planning policies that encourage affordable housing development which incorporates the needs and character of the surrounding area. 

The State Environmental Planning Policy (Affordable Rental Housing) 2009 and the State Environmental Planning Policy No. 70 Affordable Housing (Revised Schemes) are policies which encourage the development of new affordable housing and the maintenance of existing affordable housing.

Affordable Rental Housing SEPP

The State Environmental Planning Policy (Affordable Rental Housing) 2009 (AHSEPP) was introduced on 31 July 2009. The policy’s intent is to increase the supply and diversity of affordable rental and social housing in the state.


The AHSEPP covers housing types including villas, townhouses and apartments that contain an affordable rental housing component, along with secondary dwellings (granny flats), new generation boarding houses, group homes, social housing and supportive accommodation.


Find more information on how to gain approval for a granny flat under the AHSEPP.

Approval of developments under the AHSEPP

Your local council or an accredited certifier can issue approvals for granny flat developments as long as they meet specific criteria under the AHSEPP


All other development under the AHSEPP requires approval from the relevant consent authority which is the local council in most cases. As local planning controls are required to be taken into account for these developments, your local council should be the first point of contact for those seeking further information.

SEPP No. 70 – Affordable Housing (Revised Schemes) 

The SEPP No. 70 Affordable Housing (Revised Schemes) is a policy which offers a mechanism allowing specified councils to assign an affordable housing contribution to certain developments within its local government area. This scheme is currently operating in Ultimo-Pyrmont and Green Square only.


An existing Revised Scheme is the innovative Revised City West Affordable Housing Program 2010 which ensures that people on low to moderate incomes can continue to live and work in Ultimo-Pyrmont. The program, delivered in partnership between the community, development industry and government, provides housing which is affordable to a cross section of socioeconomic groups.


The Green Square Affordable Housing Program aims to develop new affordable housing dwellings in Green Square. City West Housing is the community housing provider for the Green Square area. For more information regarding how contributions are calculated, please visit the City of Sydney’s website.

Affordable Housing Taskforce

The Government established an Affordable Housing Taskforce in 2011. The Taskforce has been advising Government on how best to facilitate the delivery of affordable housing into the future.

Page last updated: 26/05/2016