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Tuesday, August 16, 2022

Property Council backs Seniors housing policy amendments

The Property Council of Australia has welcomed amendments made to the NSW Environmental Planning Policy which it says could alleviate housing pressure on affordable, Seniors and build-to-rent housing space.

Property Council’s NSW Executive Director, Luke Achterstraat said the Property Council strongly advocated for several substantive amendments to the SEPP since its introduction and had worked closely with the Department of Planning and Environment on the issues. 

“These amendments to build to rent, floorspace, seniors living and self-assessment pathways for the Aboriginal Housing Office are examples of red tape removal which we support,” Mr Achterstraat said.

“Disappointingly, the NSW Government has extended the heritage conservation area exclusion from the seniors housing provisions until 31 December 2023. The heritage provisions were due to expire on 1 July 2022. 

“We will continue to work with the Government to find an alternative solution for operators wishing to develop affordable, accessible senior housing options in heritage conservation areas.”  

The NSW Government has made other substantive amendments made to the Housing SEPP, which have now come into effect and include:

  • Expanding the area where infill affordable housing bonuses apply from 400 to 800 metres from business and mixed-use zones in the regions.
  • Extending the infill affordable housing floorspace bonuses to also apply to shop-top housing.
  • Removing the requirement for build-to-rent housing in B3 commercial zones to be readily convertible to another use. Lowering the State Significant Development threshold for build-to-rent housing from $100 million to $50 million in Greater Sydney and $30 million elsewhere.
  • Simplifying the minimum lot standards for co-living housing to provide greater consistency.
  • Creating a self-assessment pathway for the Aboriginal Housing Office to self-assess developments of up to 60 homes and;
  • Allowing all seniors living, including independent living unit developments, in R2 Low Density Residential zones. 

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