A NSW Government website

In-fill affordable housing

In-fill affordable housing provides opportunities for the delivery of new affordable housing in well-located areas to meet the needs of a wide range of households on very low to moderate incomes.

The in-fill affordable housing provisions were transferred from State Environmental Planning Policy (Affordable Rental Housing) 2009 to the Housing SEPP when it was made in November 2021.

On 14 December 2023 the NSW Government implemented in-fill affordable housing reforms to encourage private developers to boost affordable housing and deliver more market housing. The reforms include:

  • A floor space ratio (FSR) bonus of 20–30% and a height bonus of 20–30% for projects that include at least 10-15% of gross floor area (GFA) as affordable housing. The height bonus only applies to residential flat building and shop-top housing. The FSR and height bonuses are proportional to the affordable housing component.
  • The former in-fill affordable housing bonuses are still available for development by Land and Housing Corporation (LAHC), the Aboriginal Housing Office (AHO), Landcom and registered Community Housing Providers (CHPs) on land with a maximum permissible FSR of 2:1 or less. These agencies and CHPs are now able to apply the more generous of the two formulae for calculating the FSR bonus under sections 16 or 17 of the Housing SEPP.
  • The accessible area definition has been amended to increase the walking distance from a light rail station from 400 m to 800 m and include metro stations.

The in-fill affordable housing provisions:

  • apply to land in:
    • the Six Cities Region (with the exception of the Shoalhaven LGA) within an accessible area
    • other areas within 800 m walking distance of land zoned E1 Local Centre, MU1 Mixed Use, B1 Neighbourhood Centre, B2 Local Centre or B4 Mixed Use.
  • require a minimum of 10% of the development to be used for affordable housing, with the provisions encouraging the delivery of 15%
  • include built form bonuses to encourage the development of affordable housing
  • requires the affordable housing portion of the development to remain affordable and be managed by a registered community housing provider for a minimum of 15 years
  • include non-discretionary development standards for lot size, dwelling sizes, deep soil zones, car parking and others
  • require the consent authority to consider the character of the local area or the desired future character for areas under transition.

View the in-fill affordable housing provisions of the Housing SEPP.

The department has prepared a practice note (PDF, 385 KB) and a planning circular (PDF, 164 KB) to guide consent authorities and applicants on the application of the in-fill affordable housing FSR and height bonuses.

More information for SSD applicants

To support the delivery of SSD affordable housing, the department will work with applicants to speed up assessments through a new Faster Assessment Program.

The program will target an average assessment time of 275 days from lodgement to determination. It will be supported by new industry-specific SEARs, a mandatory scoping meeting and possible access to dedicated case management for projects that can demonstrate a high likelihood of being delivered within National Housing Accord timeframes.

Applicants can find out more in the following documents:

Frequently asked questions

Who can provide affordable housing?

Affordable housing must be provided to eligible households by a registered community housing provider.

Do all SSD affordable housing applications require a scoping meeting?

SSD applicants for affordable housing are required to undertake a scoping meeting with the department prior to requesting SEARs. However, to ensure there are no delays in the lodgement of applications that are already well developed, the requirement for a scoping meeting will be considered on a case-by-case basis until 1 March 2024.

What changes have been made to infill affordable housing since the SEPP was made?

Amendments made on 14 December date 2023 implemented reforms to the in-fill affordable housing provisions, including changes to floor space ratio bonus, introduction of a building height bonus and changes to the required affordable housing component.

An amendment made on 1 July 2022 expands the area where in-fill affordable housing bonuses apply from 400 m to 800 m from business and mixed use zones in Regional NSW.

The in-fill affordable housing floorspace bonus now also applies to shop-top housing.

For more information, email [email protected] or phone 02 8289 6700.