Group homes provide temporary or permanent accommodation for people with a disability or people that are socially disadvantaged. The State Environmental Planning Policy (Housing) 2021 (Housing SEPP) aims to increase the supply of group homes by permitting this type of accommodation in a range of land use zones and including a complying development approval pathway.
Planning framework for group homes
The planning provisions for group homes were transferred from the State Environmental Planning Policy (Affordable Rental Housing) 2009 (ARHSEPP) to the Housing SEPP when it was made in November 2021.
The group homes provisions can be found in Chapter 3, Part 2 of the Housing SEPP.
There are 3 separate approval pathways for new group homes:
- development without consent – in a prescribed zone undertaken by a public authority, with up to 10 bedrooms
- complying development – the development will have up to 10 bedrooms within one or more group homes on a site and complies with clauses 1.18 and 1.19 of the Codes SEPP and the standards prescribed in Schedule 2 of the Housing SEPP
- development application – for all other group home development.
The Housing SEPP also includes exempt development provisions for minor alterations to an existing group home.
Review of group homes provisions
The planning provisions for group homes are being reviewed to ensure that they are fit for purpose.
This review responds to feedback received from stakeholders in response to the Housing Diversity SEPP Explanation of Intended Effect, the Housing SEPP consultation draft, and other feedback received by the department.
Learn more about this review on the NSW Planning Portal.
Frequently asked questions
The Housing SEPP permits group homes in the following zones:
- R1 General Residential
- R2 Low Density Residential
- R3 Medium Density Residential
- R4 High Density Residential
- B4 Mixed Use
- SP1 Special Activities
- SP2 Infrastructure
- any other zone where dwelling houses or multi dwelling housing are permitted under another environmental planning instrument.
If a proposal for a group home meets all the complying development requirements, an application may be determined within 20 days by a local council or accredited certifier.
The certifying authority is required to notify neighbours of an application for complying development 14 days prior to approval. Where a complying development certificate has been issued, the owner will need to provide neighbour notification 7 days prior to works commencing.