You can lead a horse to water… (voluntary density bonuses)

It is hard to know how many Affordable Rental Housing dwellings there are in NSW but we do know that it’s not very many. Shelter NSW acknowledges that inclusionary housing policies that incentivise developers to provide affordable housing within private development can support overall affordable housing production, however the effectiveness of these policies in practice is dependent on the features, economic feasibility, design and locational aspects of the specific policy.  
 
Shelter NSW recently made a submission to the NSW Minister for Planning regarding the draft amendment to State Environmental Planning Policy (SEPP) (Housing) 2021 and associated regulations. These amendments would give effect to the NSW Government proposal to offer substantial density bonuses (30% floor space ratio boost, and a height bonus of 30% above local environment plans) to private developers of large $75milliion plus developments that agree to include 15% affordable housing. 
 
Shelter NSW definitely wants to see more (truly) affordable housing delivered in NSW, however we strongly believe that the proposed policy amendments will not be effective in achieving this important public benefit. Worse still, we fear unintended built form impacts and environmental planning consequences that will result in negative community response to the development of affordable housing through the planning system. 
 
You can read our full submission where we raise a number of concerns not least of which is that the scheme is voluntary and is a step backwards compared to current requirements.  
 
Our submission calls for a mandatory inclusionary policy system which can better direct development to specifically target areas where affordable housing is most wanted and needed and do so in a consistent and coordinated way.