Changes to Affordable Housing (SEPP 70)

A proposed amendment to SEPP 70 has been placed on public exhibition to facilitate its automatic application to the whole of New South Wales (to include all councils) and to streamline the process for councils seeking to establish contribution schemes for affordable rental housing.  

The current requirement where councils must demonstrate an identified need for affordable housing before gaining access to SEPP 70 will be replaced with a new single step process involving an amendment to the Council’s LEP. Contribution schemes will be linked to areas for future rezoning and development.

This means that councils will no longer need to seek the Minister’s approval to be included in SEPP 70, and will make it easier for councils to prepare affordable housing contribution schemes to increase affordable housing across NSW.

The proposed changes are aimed at helping developers plan for contribution costs earlier and with more certainty because the affordable housing contribution scheme is applied at the rezoning phase. Affordable housing contribution schemes can’t be applied across an entire local government area, they can only be applied to certain precincts or areas that have not been subject to any prior development uplift.

The Department of Planning and Environment has also released a draft guideline for local councils proposing to develop an affordable housing contributions scheme.  Councils will be required to consider the impact of affordable housing contribution schemes on development feasibility. A tool has been developed to test the viability of proposed contribution schemes.    

The proposed amendments have been released for public comment until 19 December 2018 and the Property Council will be making a submission.

Any questions or comments, email

More information about the operation of the changes to SEPP 70 can be accessed HERE