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.

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: 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:   

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