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Development assessment timeframes for social and affordable housing to be halved under Labor

31 May 2024

The NSW Government has changed the way affordable and social housing development assessments are processed delivering faster approvals and more homes for those who need it most.

Under a new state-led rezoning pathway, the Government will accelerate rezoning proposals from the State’s housing agencies including Homes NSW (NSW Land and Housing Corporation and Aboriginal Housing Office) and Landcom.

A newly dedicated team within the Department of Planning, Housing and Infrastructure (DPHI) will manage the applications from concept review to lodgement, exhibition and final assessment.

As wait-times for social and affordable housing grow, greater responsibility is placed on councils and planners to move projects through the planning system. In the meantime, people are doing it tough. Under this new pathway these timeframes are set to halved.

Establishing an accelerated pathway for rezoning for the Government’s housing delivery agencies allows councils to focus on the assessment of local development applications.

These are the latest changes the Government is making to streamline the planning system, all aimed at expediting the delivery of more homes to the people of NSW.

This Government has already taken significant steps to improve and expand social and affordable housing services by introducing:

  • a new bonus Floor Space Ratio (FSR) on new developments of up to 30 per cent and a height bonus of up to 30 per cent where a proposal includes a minimum of 15 per cent of the gross floor area (GFA) as affordable housing.
  • Changes to self-assessment powers for certain social, affordable and public housing providers to ensure more homes can be built faster.
  • A requirement for affordable housing to be delivered at all TOD locations.

For more information on the pathway visit Rezoning pathway for social and affordable housing.

Minister for Planning and Public Spaces Paul Scully said:

“This newly created team will prioritise social and affordable housing by streamlining the application process to help deliver critical housing for people in need for years to come.

“The former Government left us with a planning system that made the delivery of social and affordable housing, prolonged and complicated, these changes are just the latest step in rectifying this.

“All applications using this pathway will still need to meet eligibility criteria including their alignment to the State and Commonwealth housing commitments.”

Minister for Housing Rose Jackson said:

“We have been clear - all options are on the table to address the housing crisis. A key area for reform is our planning rules. This government is dedicated to exploring new ways to increase housing supply and enhance existing systems.

“One of those improvements is the new social and affordable housing planning pathway which will help our agencies get the job done faster.

“This is another important step in rebuilding the housing system in NSW. We need to expedite the delivery of more social and affordable homes and not have applications held up in unwieldly and complicated planning rules that don’t deliver homes for people in need.”