It is our aim that all people in New South Wales, including older people, people with disabilities and those on low incomes have access to affordable and well-designed housing.
Since 1982, the NSW Government has met the ongoing challenge of providing sufficient housing for seniors and people with a disability. State Environmental Planning Policy (SEPP 5) was introduced to deal with housing for older people and people with a disability.
In March 2004, the Department replaced SEPP 5 with a new policy focused on balancing growing demand for accommodation with maintaining the character and feel of local neighbourhoods - State Environmental Planning Policy (Seniors Living) 2004.
In September 2007, Amendment No 2 changed the name of the SEPP to State Environmental Planning Policy (Housing for Seniors or People with a Disability) 2004. It also introduced site compatibility certificates for seniors housing.
In October 2018, an amendment was made to change some rules for site compatibility certificates and to make the relevant planning panel the determining authority for site compatibility certificates issued under the Seniors SEPP.
In October 2018, an amendment was made to change some rules for site compatibility certificates and to make the relevant planning panel the determining authority for site compatibility certificates issued under the Seniors Housing SEPP.
In February 2019, an amendment was made so that the Seniors Housing SEPP does not apply in Heritage Conservation Areas in Greater Sydney until 1 July 2020.
This temporary change offers councils time to ensure seniors housing provisions align with their local strategic plans which are currently under review.
Once councils have completed their strategic planning and community consultation, they will be able to choose how the Seniors Housing SEPP applies in heritage conservation areas in their local government area.
Councils who wish to continue to develop seniors housing in Heritage Conservation Areas before June 2020 will be supported to do so, through further amendment to the Seniors Housing SEPP.
Existing permissibility under the Seniors Housing SEPP will continue to apply if development applications and Site Compatibility Certificates (SCC) have been lodged prior to the amendment being made, or an SCC has been issued but not yet acted upon prior to the amendment being made.
The current policy and supporting resources are:
The Department’s register provides the status and details of all existing SCCs that are publicly available.
In addition to housing for seniors and people with disabilities, the NSW Government has also an affordable rental housing state environmental policy to help increase the amount and diversity of affordable housing in the state.
Visit Affordable Rental Housing to download fact sheets, a community guide, browse the SEPP, and read detailed information aimed at practitioners.
Page last updated: 02/03/2020