Diverse and Affordable Housing

Resilient Sydney’s Diverse and Affordable and Diverse Housing Project

The 100 Resilient Cities Initiative has long recognised that affordable housing is a foundation of successful communities and placemaking for our global cities. All 33 Sydney Councils are active members of Resilient Sydney, with the City of Sydney facilitating. 

CEOs, General Managers, and their delegates met in April 2021 to discuss council-instigated affordable housing projects, participants agreed to continue to work together on common issues and share learnings with the aim of delivering local affordable rental housing projects. The forum established a steering committee of senior council officers, representatives of Resilient Sydney, SSROC Secretariat, the Greater Sydney Commission and the Department of Planning and Environment (DPE). 

The steering committee developed a work plan built on three critical work areas identified by the forum participants: 

  • improved data; 
  • engaging the planning system; 
  • demonstrating new models for the provision of affordable rental housing. 

The aim of the project is to help councils collaborate across metropolitan Sydney to deliver diverse affordable rental housing. The Secretariat is coordinating the project, with the support of WSROC, NSROC and the Western Parkland Councils. 

SSROC and Resilient Sydney start conversation on addressing affordable housing

SSROC and Resilient Sydney have got the ball rolling on Sydney councils taking action to improve housing affordability across the Sydney metropolitan area.

Representatives from 32 Sydney councils participated in an online workshop in early March, along with representatives from the other peak council bodies WSROC, NSROC and Western Sydney Planning Partnership, to cooperate on strategies to improve housing affordability for low-income earners across Sydney.

The workshop was part of the Resilient Sydney Diverse and Affordable Housing initiative, in which urban planning and housing experts from Urbanista Australia consulted extensively with councils right across metropolitan Sydney on the challenges and barriers to implementing affordable housing contribution schemes.  

The online workshop showcased practical tools and resources to help local council officers prepare Affordable Housing Contribution Schemes for their councils drawing together specialist affordable housing research

The suite of tools is now available here:

The Resilient Sydney Supplementary Implementation Guide is an explanation of how to go about developing and delivering an affordable housing contributions scheme, drawing on councils’ real, proven experience.

Workshop recording

Workshop presentations

SSROC will continue to work with Resilient Sydney, Urbanista and the participating councils to address housing affordability issues across the metropolitan area.

Affordable Housing Contributions Scheme Project

At a workshop on July 2021 councils agreed to examine ways to help councils to implement affordable housing contribution schemes under SEPP 70 (now the Housing SEPP) to increase the amount of affordable housing in their local areas. 

The steering committee agreed a project brief and engaged Urbanista Australia to undertake the project. Urbanista’s task was to explore barriers to local government implementing affordable housing contribution schemes and making recommendations for improvement.  

The project was funded by contributions from Resilient Sydney, DPE (Housing Policy Team), Community Housing Industry Association NSW (CHIA) and SSROC. To ensure that the project is informed by expert knowledge in this field, as well as being practical for councils to use, the overall project structure incorporates: 

  • an expert advisory group primarily of council planning officers and DPE,  
  • a metropolitan council user group. 

Urbanista completed the project in early 2023 and published a series of issue papers that are available for download.  

The steering committee made a submission to the Department of Planning and Environment, referring Urbanista’s findings to them for consideration.  

Affordable housing contribution scheme supplementary implementation guide and template 

Using Urbanista’s findings as a basis, Resilient Sydney has developed a DRAFT supplementary implementation guide (guide) and DRAFT contribution scheme plan template (template). 

These tools include information to supplement the Department’s “Guideline for Developing an Affordable Housing Contribution Scheme” (Department’s Guideline). They have been developed to assist local government planners to prepare a planning proposal, and an associated contribution scheme plan, to implement a locally appropriate affordable housing contribution requirement in their local environmental plans. The aim of the guide and template is to make the process of establishing an effective contribution scheme easier and faster for councils. 

The guide and the template are not intended to demonstrate the only way a contribution scheme may be implemented. However, they are based on other successful schemes currently in operation and as such can point councils to working examples and assist them in identifying the opportunities for their own scheme based on their local context.  

While the Department was consulted in the development of the guide and the template, they are not endorsed by the Department. It is strongly recommended councils seeking to develop a contribution scheme seek the early advice of the Housing Policy team at the Department. The Housing Policy team can be contacted at email: housingpolicy@planning.nsw.gov.au or phone: 02 8289 6701. 

The tools are currently open for comment from council until 14 April 2023. Any comments should be directed to Mark Nutting at email: ssroc@ssroc.nsw.gov.au   

A final version of the tools will be published at the end of April 2023. 

Resilient Sydney Forum: Partnering with Community Housing Providers 

On 22 October 2021, an online forum was held as part of the Resilient Sydney Affordable and Diverse Housing project. 

It focussed on metropolitan councils working with community housing providers (CHPs), and how CHPs can assist councils to provide and manage affordable housing through the planning system.  

The forum was facilitated by Ms Barone, CEO, City of Sydney and co-hosted by Community Housing Industry Association (CHIA) NSW. It targeted to senior council officers and CEOs of CHPs and was attended by 28 metropolitan councils and 19 CHPs with 86 participants in total. 

Several affordable housing projects were presented, where CHPs have attracted millions of dollars of low-cost finance through the National Housing Finance and Investment Corporation to local and often affordable housing projects.