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.

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.

At the forum for CEOs, General Managers, and their delegates 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. 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) was established.

The steering committee developed a workplan 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.

At the July 2021 workshop councils agreed to examine ways to improve engagement with the planning system to establish affordable housing contribution schemes under SEPP 70 (now the Housing SEPP). As a result, Councils are looking to work together in close collaboration with DPE to achieve this. 

The steering committee agreed a project brief to help councils to implement affordable housing contribution schemes and identify potential funding sources to support this project. In support of Resilient Sydney, SSROC’s Secretariat is facilitating this work.

Affordable Housing Contributions Scheme Project

To assist councils to implement affordable housing contribution schemes a planning-oriented consultancy was engaged by the SSROC Secretariat, on behalf of the steering committee, to produce practical tools and information for local councils and find ways of streamlining the process for establishing local schemes.

This project aims to help councils to work together across metropolitan Sydney towards the common goal of delivering more diverse affordable rental housing. The project is being funded by contributions from Resilient Sydney, DPE (Housing Policy), CHIA NSW and SSROC. 

The consultancy firm, Urbanista Australia, commenced in late 2021 working to an agreed project plan to produce the practical tools and information for councils that will help them to implement their own affordable housing contribution schemes. Consultative online workshops with local council planning officers were held in March 2022. The overall project is due to be completed by mid 2022.

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.

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.

Affordable Housing Data Working Group

The group is currently focusing on data definitions, with a first draft table due by 4 March 2022.

Data is being sought from a range of sources, including Corelogic, the Rental Bonds Board, Community Housing Registrar and Australian Institute of Health and Welfare.

A key function of SSROC is to advocate on behalf of our member councils and region to all tiers of government, relevant agencies and organisations. We advocate on matters such as responsive planning mechanisms, infrastructure services and amenities, waste and resource recovery, and urban development strategy.