In a major win for Vinnies and the Sydney Alliance, the NSW Government has cut red tape by listing all local government areas in SEPP 70 Affordable Housing. This amendment to the State Environmental Planning Policy No. 70 – Affordable Housing (Revised Schemes) (SEPP 70), means that:
- Councils no longer need to seek approval from the Minister to be listed in SEPP 70 before developing an affordable housing contribution scheme (AHCS).
- It is still optional for councils to develop an AHCS.
- Councils still need to develop an AHCS and amend their local environment plan before a contribution can be introduced.
- The definition of ‘affordable housing’ in SEPP 70 has been broadened to include Greater Sydney or the rest of NSW. A council can check the Australian Bureau of Statistics website maps to determine which definition it falls within.
- One Principle in Schedule 2 of SEPP 70 has been amended to ‘Affordable housing is to be made available to a mix of very-low, low- or moderate-income households, or any combination of these’.
- A guideline has been developed to assist councils to develop their AHCSs.
- The Minister has issued the Environmental Planning and Assessment (Planning Agreements) Direction 2019. The Ministerial Direction can be viewed on the planning portal.
These changes reflect consultation and feedback from communities, councils and industry.
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