Good news for affordable housing in the inner west

Friday 15 December 2017

Council has welcomed the possible expansion of the State Government’s Affordable Housing mechanism to include the inner west.

The Department of Planning announced yesterday it was seeking to amend SEPP70 to include Inner West Council.

SEPP70 is the planning instrument that allows councils to charge developers for affordable housing contributions.

“For 15 years, the state governments have refused to list new areas, despite many applications by various councils,” Inner West Mayor Darcy Byrne said.

“It seems in the new year, Inner West Council could be added to the list.

“Extending SEPP 70 beyond the very few inner city areas where it currently operates could be a real boon to affordable housing in the inner west.

“This will mark a major step forward in implementing our Affordable Housing Policy and is a positive response to our latest submission to the Department seeking inclusion in the SEPP.

“Inclusion means we can streamline planning proposals that include requirements for affordable housing contributions.

“This is great news for us and our very ambitious proposal for a 15 - 30 per cent affordable housing target,” Mayor Byrne said.

Inner West Council’s pioneering Affordable Housing Policy sets a city-leading 15 per cent target on large developments, and 30 per cent on government owned land in urban renewal areas.

“Increasing the stock of affordable rental housing is a Council priority,” said Mayor Byrne.

“We need this to ensure our community remains socially rich and diverse. It will mean vulnerable groups and workers in essential and community sectors can remains living in the inner west, and that fewer people will be living in housing stress.

The Department of Planning and Environment has commenced the exhibition of an amendment to State Environmental Planning Policy No 70—Affordable Housing (Revised Schemes) (SEPP70) listing Inner West Council as a council to which the SEPP applies.

“We will be urging the Government to confirm our inclusion as soon as possible after the exhibition period, so we can support housing diversity by taking advantage of urban renewal and the increase in land values resulting from rezonings and other planning decisions,” Mayor Byrne said.

To find out more, or to comment, go to www.planning.nsw.gov.au/Policy-and-Legislation/State-Environmental-Planning-Policies-Review/Draft-Affordable-Housing-SEPP-70-review

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