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.

Social and affordable housing reforms

The NSW Government is tackling the housing crisis by facilitating the increased supply of social and affordable housing for low-income households and essential workers.

The reforms have been introduced after extensive consultation with councils, industry, government agencies and community housing providers.

State significant development and affordable housing

A new state significant development (SSD) pathway has been introduced for residential development with a capital investment value of over $75 million in Greater Sydney, and $30 million outside Greater Sydney, which includes at least 10 per cent affordable housing.

We have released a range of guidance to help applicants use the new SSD pathway.

For more information go to In-fill affordable housing.

New bonuses for affordable housing

We have introduced reforms to encourage private developers to build more affordable housing and more housing in general. Projects that include at least 10-15% affordable housing will be eligible for height and floor space ratio bonuses of 20-30%.

For more information go to In-fill affordable housing.

Changes for government housing agencies

New state significant development pathways will enable government housing agencies to deliver residential developments of over 75 homes more easily.

We’re also enabling government agencies to self-assess more of their social and affordable housing projects to speed up delivery of social housing.

For more information go to Social and affordable housing.

Seniors housing

We have released the Seniors Housing Design Guide and updated standards to ensure seniors housing is well designed and fit for purpose.

For more information go to Seniors housing.

Boarding housing houses

We have expanded where boarding houses are permitted in regional NSW and increased floor space ratio bonuses for this housing type to encourage delivery of more affordable housing.

For more information go to Boarding houses and co-living.

Build-to-rent housing

We have made minor changes to allow the subdivision of the non-tenanted component of build-to-rent housing in the B3/E2 zone.

For more information go to Build-to-rent housing.

The in-fill affordable housing practice note provides guidance and examples for the use of the new provisions.

For more information about the reforms, read our Social and affordable housing reforms – Fact sheet (PDF, 335 KB) and Social and affordable housing reforms – Frequently asked questions (PDF, 1.5 MB).

Housing SEPP

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

The Housing SEPP includes the planning provisions for:

  • boarding houses
  • build-to-rent housing
  • seniors housing
  • caravan parks and manufactured home estates
  • group homes
  • retention of existing affordable rental housing
  • secondary dwellings (granny flats)
  • social and affordable housing
  • short-term rental accommodation
  • design quality of residential apartment development.

Affordable housing contribution schemes

Affordable housing contribution schemes are council-led policies which set out how, where and at what rate development contributions can be collected by councils for affordable housing.

The enabling provisions to develop an affordable housing contribution scheme are contained in Part 7, Division 7.2 of the Environmental Planning and Assessment Act 1979 and Chapter 2, Part 1 of the Housing SEPP.

The department’s Guideline for Developing an Affordable Housing Contribution Scheme (PDF, 4.2 MB) sets out the process and considerations councils must take into consideration when developing an affordable housing contribution scheme.

For more information about the Housing SEPP, email [email protected] or phone 02 8289 6700.

Frequently asked questions

What will happen next?

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

What is affordable housing?

Affordable housing means housing for very low income households, low income households or moderate income households, being such households as are prescribed by the regulations or as are provided for in an environmental planning instrument.

Chapter 2, Part 1 of the Housing SEPP describes very low income households, low income households or moderate income households as:

  1. households that have a gross income within the following ranges of percentages of the median household income for Greater Sydney or the Rest of NSW:
    1. very low income household—less than 50%,
    2. low income household—50–less than 80%,
    3. moderate income household—80–120%, and
  2. pays no more than 30% of the gross income in rent,


  1. the household
    1. is eligible to occupy rental accommodation under the National Rental Affordability Scheme, and
    2. pays no more rent than the rent that would be charged if the household were to occupy rental accommodation under the Scheme.