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NSW Department of Planning, Industry and Environment
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New provisions for social housing, retention of affordable rental housing and secondary dwellings

On 18 December 2020, the first phase of the changes proposed was progressed to support the delivery of social and affordable housing by the NSW Land and Housing Corporation (LAHC), ahead of the other amendments previously proposed.


Affordable Rental Housing SEPP (ARHSEPP)

Changes have been made to the ARHSEPP to help facilitate development carried out by LAHC and its developer partners by amending provisions for in-fill affordable housing and LAHC’s self-assessment provisions. These include:

  • Increasing the maximum number of dwellings that LAHC can self-assess from 20 to 60 dwellings with a maximum height of 8.5m. This will help facilitate LAHC’s new delivery model, which will contain a mixture of private, affordable and social housing.
  • Inclusion of a new requirement for LAHC to consider its design guidelines ‘Good design for social housing’, dated September 2020 and ‘Land and Housing Corporation Dwelling Requirements’ dated September 2020 as part of development proposals self-assessed.
  • Amendments to allow LAHC to self-assess manor house and multi dwelling housing (terraces), including the requirement that they must consider the provisions contained in Part 3B Low Rise Housing Diversity Code of the Codes SEPP.
  • Expansion of the range of residential accommodation dwelling types permitted under the in-fill affordable housing provisions that also attract a density to include, but not limited to dual occupancies, manor houses and multi dwelling houses (terraces).
  • Inclusion of a new requirement that a consent authority must not consent to in-fill affordable housing development for the purpose of manor houses and multi dwelling houses (terraces) unless it has taken into consideration the department’s Low Rise Housing Diversity Design Guide.
  • Expansion of the areas where the in-fill affordable housing provisions apply to include the Central Coast, Wollongong and Newcastle regions as well as Greater Sydney to better capture ‘accessible areas’ across the State.
  • The requirement for all development under the in-fill affordable housing provisions to deliver a minimum 20 per cent of affordable housing gross floor area.


Part 3 of the ARHSEPP has also been amended to remove reference to the 28 January 2000 date to allow councils to levy monetary contributions to offset the loss of dwellings that were low rental at any time within the five years preceding the lodgement of the DA. It has also been clarified that the applicant of a DA, not the consent authority (e.g. local council), will be responsible for establishing whether a building contained low-rental dwellings.


On 9 April 2021, further changes were made to the ARHSEPP to introduce provisions for the new statewide Short-term Rental Accommodation (STRA) policy.


State and Regional Development SEPP (SRD SEPP)

The SRD SEPP has been updated to help streamline the assessment of projects by simplifying the pathway for projects to be considered State significant development (SSD). This update removes the requirement for LAHC site’s to be mapped on the SSD Sites Map and to increase the capital investment value SSD threshold for LAHC development to $100 million.


Standard Instrument LEP

The Standard Instrument LEP Order has been amended to provide local councils the discretion to set a maximum size for secondary dwellings in a rural zone and the maximum distance a secondary dwelling in a rural zone can be located from the principal dwelling.


Environmental Planning and Assessment Regulation 2000

The Environmental Planning and Assessment Regulation 2000 has also been amended to ensure development applications (DAs) lodged for manor house and multi dwelling housing (terraces) development to be accompanied by a statement prepared by a qualified designer or a person accredited as a building designer by the Building Designers Association of Australia that:


  1. verifies that the designer or person designed, or directed the design of, the development, and
  2. addresses how the design is consistent with the relevant design criteria set out in the Low Rise Housing Diversity Design Guide.


The new and amended provisions in the ARHSEPP, Standard Instrument LEP Order and EP&A Regulation commenced on 1 February 2021.


You can view all submissions made regarding the changes to the LAHC, social housing, Part 3 and secondary dwelling provisions via our Planning Portal.


More information

For more information about the new provisions, you can:

Page last updated: 09/04/2021