UNSW report casts doubt on affordable housing planning policy in Sydney

Affordable rental options for low-income households in Sydney need to be drastically improved according to City Futures Research Centre

A report by UNSW Sydney’s City Futures Research Centre has found that the NSW government’s Affordable Rental Housing policy has delivered little genuinely affordable rental housing for very-low and low-income households.

The report on the NSW State Environmental Planning Policy (Affordable Rental Housing) 2009 (ARHSEPP) found that very few approved additional dwellings were offered as private rental and ARHSEPP provisions were being used to overcome minimum apartment standards.

“The results strongly suggest that the ARHSEPP is not fit for purpose and needs to be replaced by new provisions that provide affordable rental options for low-income households,” the Director of City Futures Research Centre, Professor Bill Randolph, said.

The report was commissioned by the Southern Sydney Regional Organisation of Councils (SSROC) and focused on the dwellings delivered under the policy in southern and central Sydney.

The ARHSEPP was designed to facilitate the private development of more diverse and affordable rental housing options in the private market, but there has been very little monitoring to understand if the policy has been successful.

“While the ARHSEPP has delivered large numbers of dwellings across central and southern Sydney, it appears that many of the provisions are being used to circumvent other development controls, such as apartment design standards and dwelling mix, rather than deliver genuinely affordable rental housing,” lead report author Dr Laurence Troy said.

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Source: UNSW

The report can be read here: https://cityfutures.be.unsw.edu.au/research/projects/affordable-housing-sepp-and-southern-sydney/