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Rezoning pathway for social and affordable housing

Accelerating social and affordable housing rezoning proposals

The NSW Government is committed to making sure everyone has access to a safe and secure home.

There is an urgent need for social and affordable housing in NSW. That's why we're prioritising the delivery of more social and affordable homes for communities in need.

To do this, we’re introducing a faster, simplified rezoning process for the state’s housing agencies (Homes NSW and Landcom) to speed up delivery of social and affordable housing.

The department will lead the assessment of planning proposals including:

  • initial advice via a strategic review panel 
  • review and public exhibition
  • finalisation.

For detailed information on the new rezoning pathway process and eligibility requirements, read the Prioritising rezonings that deliver social and affordable housing program guideline (PDF, 363 KB)

Read the guideline

Frequently asked questions

What is the rezoning pathway?

The Department of Planning, Housing and Infrastructure is implementing a process to accelerate rezoning proposals by the state’s housing agencies within Homes NSW (NSW Land and Housing Corporation and Aboriginal Housing Office) and Landcom designed to deliver social and affordable housing.  This is consistent with the objectives of the Environmental Planning and Assessment Act 1979

Who is eligible for the pathway?

As state housing agencies that deliver social and affordable housing, the NSW Land and Housing Corporation, Aboriginal Housing Office – both within Homes NSW and Landcom can use the pathway.

Why is the rezoning pathway needed?

The NSW Government is committed to ensuring every person in NSW has access to a safe and secure home. Housing affordability and availability is one of the biggest pressures facing the people of our state. Responding to the housing crisis is a matter of state and regional significance for environmental planning. This will help with the need to to deliver more social and affordable housing to support those in need. 

Who is delivering the rezoning pathway?

The department will lead a streamlined, end-to-end rezoning process to assess proposals by Homes NSW’s housing agencies and Landcom. This will be for proposals that contribute to the delivery of an increase in social and affordable housing in NSW. 

Applicants will need to prepare high-quality applications for assessment under the pathway. The department will give advice and input on matters such as:

  • planning controls
  • availability and requirements for critical infrastructure
  • other agency referrals
  • any potential delays to delivery such as council and community concerns
  • site selection considerations to prioritise the efficient sequencing of projects.
What is the difference between the rezoning pathway for social and affordable housing and the state-led one?

This planning pathway relies on applicants developing high-quality documentation and technical studies to support the proposed rezoning. This differs from a state-led rezoning pathway, such as those under the Transport Oriented Development program. Under state-led rezoning, the department leads the master planning and procurement of technical experts to drive the rezoning forward. 

When does the pathway start?

The pathway begins from May 2024.

How will the department assess and evaluate applications?

To be eligible for the pathway, applicants must satisfy the following criteria:

  • The applicant must be a representative of:
    • NSW Land and Housing Corporation, or
    • Aboriginal Housing Office, or
    • Landcom.
  • Not currently in the planning system
    The project is not the subject of an active planning proposal lodged in the system
    • Active implies that the project is at any stage from ‘lodged’ through to ‘finalisation’. The department may, in its sole discretion, determine whether the project is active.
    • An applicant cannot withdraw a current planning proposal to pursue this pathway.
    • Projects may be submitted for sites where a previous planning proposal was lodged but refused or withdrawn. However, the applicant must prove that the project submitted is new. The department may, in its sole discretion, decide that the project is not new and not eligible.
  • Aligned to the state and national housing priorities in the delivery of social and affordable housing.
  • Readiness to lodge: The applicant must commit to formally lodge the planning proposal with the department within 60 working days after scoping proposal review feedback is given. Subsequently, the applicant is to formally lodge any relevant development application within 3 months of finalisation of the rezoning. 
  • Comply with relevant planning legislation, policies and section 9.1(2) of the Environmental Planning and Assessment Act 1979 Ministerial Directions: The project is compliant with all relevant applicable legislation, plans, policies and/or master plans and any section 9.1(2) Ministerial Directions (also known as local planning directions), as updated from time to time.
How does the pathway relate to the rezonings within the Transport Oriented Development Program?

The department is leading the accelerated rezoning of key precincts under the Transport Oriented Development Program. The department will consider sites that fall within these precincts in keeping with the master planning it leads for each precinct.

For more information about the Transport Oriented Development Program, email [email protected]

More information

For more information, email [email protected]