NEWS

Upcoming changes to planning laws: TUNSW submission on the proposed Housing Diversity SEPP

Published on 22/09/2020

There have been a lot of announcements and proposals around reforms and improvements to the planning system, partly as a response to the COVID-19 economic downturn. The NSW Government has explained they would like through these reforms to encourage investment and projects that will deliver real social and economic benefits for the community.

Last week the Tenants' Union of NSW provided comment on the Department of Planning's proposal for a new Housing Diversity SEPP (State Environmental Planning Policy). The new SEPP will consolidate three previous SEPPs, including the Affordable Rental Housing SEPP, and update and amend all three in the process. The changes proposed look to do a number of things, including introducing planning provisions for the new 'housing types' of Build-to-Rent (BTR), purpose built student housing and co-living developments, as well as change the current definition and planning controls for boarding houses.

We were very pleased to see government responding to concerns raised by the Tenants' Union NSW and others across the community sector by introducing an affordability requirement for Boarding Houses under the proposed SEPP, but are keen to be involved in further discussion of how affordability will be defined. For more detail on our thoughts on this, as well as the current proposals and approach to Build to Rent, student housing and co-living our full submission on the Explanation of Intended Effect is available here.