Timing and scale is everything – Shelter NSW notes its concern about the TOD program

Shelter NSW supports the renewal of transit centres in ways that make them more inclusive. We commend the NSW Government for ensuring that regulated and genuinely affordable rental housing will be an essential part of any new, well located housing supply. Done well, and at scale this could be a game changer for NSW communities and especially low-medium income renters.

Readers will be aware of the significant advocacy effort we have made into influencing the shape of the NSW Government’s Transport Oriented Development (TOD) program.
This includes our:

  • joint advocacy with Local Government NSW, Committee for Sydney, Community Housing Industry Association (NSW) and PIA NSW
  • ongoing campaigns for fairness and equity within the Sydney Alliance

In many respects we have seen some significant wins. The commitment to ensuring the affordable housing required in both parts of the program (Tier 1 and 2) is held ‘in perpetuity’ is perhaps the best example.

Beyond issues we have raised about the practical delivery of affordable rental housing however, our main ongoing concern continues to be with the scale of ambition. Specifically we note the very low requirement of just 2% affordable housing in the Tier 2 station precincts. As we noted in this Sydney Morning Herald article  “It is unclear how such a low rate of 2 per cent, even with the intent to escalate over time, can be justified,”.

While Planning Minister Scully is correct in his observation (quoted in the same article) that there is “currently no affordable housing” available at the 37 precincts, and therefore 2% is a start, we took no comfort from our reading of the formal SEPP that provides no detail as to how much the rate will increase and by when.

We will continue to work within our various alliances and with our colleagues at the Planning Institute of Australia (NSW) to push for better and fairer outcomes.

Further information on the NSW Government’s Transport Oriented Development (TOD) planning reforms: