Affordable housing

Shelter for all

Inner West Council believes that affordable housing is a basic need and an essential element of an inclusive and sustainable city.

Housing is considered to be ‘affordable’ when households who rent or have mortgage repayments are able to meet these costs and still have sufficient income to pay for other basic needs such as food, clothing, transport, medical care and education.

Households paying more than 30% of their income on rent or housing repayments are considered to be in housing stress.

Our socio-economic profile shows that over the past years there has been a rapid influx of affluent residents and a subsequent rise in property prices which has pushed out many disadvantaged and vulnerable people from the local area.

The housing market has failed to provide for the needs of very low, low and moderate income workers and more vulnerable groups.

The lack of affordable housing affects the quality of life of individuals and families because they may be sacrificing basic necessities to pay for their housing. It also has a serious impact on employment growth and economic development. The loss of young families and workers in lower paid service jobs can adversely affect local economies.

Inner West Affordable Housing Policy

The Affordable Housing Policy was adopted at Council’s Ordinary Meeting on 28 March 2017.

It was on  exhibition for comment from 12 December 2016 to 13 February 2017.

View the documents comprising the Affordable Housing Policy here:

  1. Affordable Housing Policy (PDF 698.8KB) 
  2.  Best Practice in Value Capture (PDF 837.6KB)
  3. Background Paper (PDF 831.4KB)
  4. Background Paper - Appendix A: Socio-Economic Change Over Time (PDF 5MB)

Affordable housing strategies

The former councils had previously developed strategies to address housing affordability.

The aim of these strategies was to create affordable and appropriate housing within the former Marrickville, Leichhardt and Ashfield LGAs through a range of measures including:

  • planning tools
  • advocacy
  • partnerships
  • community development.

Refer to Marrickville's Affordable Housing Strategy 2009-2011 (PDF 1.7MB) and Leichhardt's Housing Action Plan 2016 (PDF 2.3MB)

Boarding houses

The Inner West Council LGA has one of the highest concentrations of boarding houses in the Sydney metropolitan region. Given the drop in housing affordability, boarding houses can be a source of affordable accommodation to some very low, low and moderate income households.

Inner West Council supports local services that assist boarding house residents deal with such issues as security of tenure, rental increases and the quality of boarding house amenities.

In February 2016, Council made a submission to the State Government's review of the Residential Tenancies Act (RTA) which focused in part on boarding house tenancies.

Council monitors boarding house developments and participates in Boarding House Roundtable meetings convened by the Newtown Neighbourhood Centre.

Refer to Newtown Neighbourhood Centre's Boarding House Outreach Service.


Homelessness is a significant and growing issue in the inner west community and we recognise that the causes are many and varied.

Find our more on the Homelessness webpage

Emergency accommodation

  • Housing NSW

    1800 152 152
    A single, state-wide telephone service for homelessness enquiries in NSW providing assistance to people who are homeless or at risk of being homelessness by offering access to specialised support and accommodation services.
  • Youth Emergency Accommodation Line
    Provides a simple way for young people (under 18) to find a safe place to sleep for the night. YEAL is run by Yfoundations, a peak body that seeks to end youth homelessness and aims to represent the needs of young people at risk of, or experiencing, homelessness.
  • Domestic Violence Line 
    1800 656 463

Rental accommodation

Community housing providers

Community housing providers in the Inner West Council area that provide affordable rental housing to people on low to moderate incomes or with special needs

Research links

  • Australian Housing and Urban Research Centre (AHURI) 
    A consortium of research centre funded by the Australian State and Commonwealth governments, as well as by member universities.
  • Shelter NSW
    Advocates for the interests of people disadvantaged in housing markets and builds the capacity of non profit organisations to provide housing.
  • Centre for Affordable Housing
    A business unit of Housing NSW, which works with State and local government, non-profit organisations, and private companies to generate creative responses to declining housing affordability. Also, a source of housing data.
  • NSW Homelessness Action Plan 
    Contains a broad range of actions that focus on specific target groups that are homeless or vulnerable to homelessness. The Plan is structured under the following three areas: (1) preventing homelessness; (2) responding effectively to homelessness; and (3) breaking the cycle.

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Page last updated: 18 Mar 2019