A NSW Government website

Housing SEPP

The housing needs of people across NSW are changing. Our reforms provide for more affordable homes and more choice, and create new types of homes to meet new needs.

The State Environmental Planning Policy (Housing) 2021 – also known as the Housing SEPP – gives the industry incentives to supply affordable and diverse housing in the right places and for every stage of life.

What does the Housing SEPP do?

The Housing SEPP has simplified planning by combining 5 policies:

  • State Environmental Planning Policy (Affordable Rental Housing) 2009
  • State Environmental Planning Policy (Housing for Seniors and People with a Disability) 2004
  • State Environmental Planning Policy No 70 – Affordable Housing (Revised Schemes) (SEPP 70)
  • State Environmental Planning Policy No 21 – Caravan Parks
  • State Environmental Planning Policy No 36 – Manufactured Home Estates.

The Housing SEPP introduces 2 new housing types:

  • co-living housing
  • independent living units.

It updates the provisions (legal conditions) for:

  • boarding houses
  • build-to-rent housing
  • seniors housing.

Including the planning rules for:

  • caravan parks and manufactured home estates
  • group homes
  • keeping existing affordable rental housing
  • secondary dwellings (granny flats)
  • social and affordable housing
  • short term rental accommodation.

We made these instruments (legal documents) with the Housing SEPP:

Proposed amendments

We are reviewing the Housing SEPP and local environmental plan provisions for:

  • in-fill affordable housing
  • planning pathways for social housing and affordable housing
  • group homes and hostels
  • temporary supportive accommodation
  • seniors independent living unit accessibility standards
  • boarding houses.

We exhibited an explanation of intended effect between 19 December 2022 and 13 January 2023.

The design guidance for seniors housing is also under review. To learn more, visit Seniors housing.

Frequently asked questions


Why was the Housing SEPP made?

More people need access to affordable housing, and they want to be able to choose a home that suits their needs at each stage of life. Combining the state’s former housing policies into a single SEPP streamlined and updated some of the provisions, and made them more consistent.

How does the Housing SEPP relate to the Housing 2041 strategy?

Housing 2041 is our plan to meet the state’s growing housing needs over the next 20 years by increasing the development of affordable and diverse types of homes.

Learn more about NSW Housing Strategy 2041 (PDF, 10.6 MB) and our 2021-22 Action Plan (PDF, 1.9 MB).

Why is there no definition for student housing?

Chapter 3 (Educational establishments and child care facilities) of the State Environmental Planning Policy (Transport and Infrastructure) 2021 now includes a definition of campus accommodation, which also includes accommodation for people associated with the education facility (that is, not just students).

Off campus student housing developers will use the co-living housing provisions.

What will happen next?

We are reviewing the provisions for group homes, caravan parks and manufactured home estates.

We will continue to monitor the Housing SEPP to ensure it is operating as intended and make any changes necessary. We will review it within 3 years.

Boarding houses and co-living housing

What is the difference between boarding houses and co-living housing?

These types of housing are similar in their built form and operation but boarding houses receive a larger density bonus. We want to encourage the delivery of boarding houses because of their affordability.

Boarding houses must be managed by registered community housing providers.

Co-living housing is a compact, ready-to-occupy form of accommodation for a range of people, including young professionals and key workers.

Why have you introduced new standards for boarding houses and co-living?

We listened to feedback from stakeholders who told us that smaller private rooms in boarding houses and co-living housing need to be offset by shared spaces such as large communal living areas and open space.

Why is there a minimum stay for boarding houses and co-living housing?

Boarding houses and co-living housing must provide residents with a principal place of residence for a minimum of 3 months.

This will:

  • ensure they are not used as short-term residential accommodation or serviced apartments
  • reduce the effects on the local community by limiting turnover of tenants
  • help to develop a sense of community among residents.

Short-term rental accommodation

What is short-term rental accommodation (STRA)?

Short-term rental accommodation refers to leasing all or part of a legally constructed dwelling for less than 3 months. The Housing SEPP defines short-term rental accommodation as either hosted or non-hosted.

All short-term rental accommodation dwellings must register to show they meet added fire and safety standards.

Read more about short-term rental accommodation policy.

To learn more about the housing types covered by the Housing SEPP, view the sub-pages of this page.

For more information about the Housing SEPP, or to join the Housing SEPP mailing list, email [email protected] or phone 02 8289 6701.