The NSW Government is seeking feedback on proposed changes to the State Environmental Planning Policy No. 70 – Affordable Housing (Revised Schemes) (SEPP 70).

SEPP 70 commenced on 1 June 2002 and identified the need for affordable housing in certain local government areas.

SEPP 70 currently only allows councils named in the State Environment Planning Policy to prepare affordable housing contribution schemes within their local government area. The NSW Government is responding to submissions received which suggest that:

  • SEPP 70 should be available to all NSW councils to accelerate the provision of affordable housing; and
  • the existing requirements for councils to demonstrate a need for affordable housing prior to inclusion in SEPP 70 is unnecessarily complex.

The NSW Government is proposing to relevantly expand SEPP 70 to all councils in NSW which will remove the requirement for councils to demonstrate their need for affordable housing prior to inclusion in SEPP 70.

The Department of Planning and Environment has provided a draft guideline for councils to help them prepare affordable housing schemes. Councils will have to demonstrate that, a need for affordable housing exists in their local government area under the provisions of SEPP 70, and further that contributions for affordable housing in an area will not make development unviable.

The proposed amendments have been released for public comment until 19 December 2018