Changes to planning rules across Sydney are set to benefit lower-income households, with affordable housing on the state government’s agenda.
In line with the new changes to planning rules coming into effect from 1 July 2021, the NSW government will extend the City of Sydney’s affordable rental housing scheme, which requires new developments to make a financial or floor-space contribution towards new rental housing.
According to the government, the changes will ultimately mean “more affordable rental properties will be available in the city as new apartments and housing are built”.
The City of Sydney is set to welcome over 10,000 affordable rental properties in the next 15 years, with 600 already in the pipeline.
The scheme will be phased in over the next two years, reportedly to give developers time to adjust.
Despite being outperformed by regional rental markets in terms of growth, Sydney remains as one of the most expensive rental markets across the nation.
Domain’s latest research pointed to a 2.4 per cent increase in Sydney’s house rents and a 5.7 increase in unit rents over the 12 months to May.
This made the NSW capital the second-most expensive capital city rental market, with median house rent at $663.4 and median unit rent at $453.1 — surpassing the capital city average of $55 and $411, respectively. It follows Canberra, where median house rent is at $690.6 and median unit rent is at $492.7.
Planning minister Rob Stokes said that the affordable rental housing scheme will support the Greater Sydney Regional Plan, which aims to “rebalance growth and deliver benefits more equally and equitably to residents across Greater Sydney”.
The changes in planning rules will also coincide with new planning controls under the Central Sydney Planning Strategy, which is currently in the final stages of assessment by the Department of Planning, Industry and Environment.