The NSW Government says it aims to halve the time it takes between development application submissions and approvals for social and affordable housing developments.

The new team located within the Department of Planning, Housing and Infrastructure (DPHI) will see proposals to rezone land for multi-residential affordable housing submitted by the likes of Homes NSW and Landcom quickly resolved. 

The government hopes that the acceleration in decisions on rezoning will allow councils to focus on the assessment of local development applications.

“We have been clear - all options are on the table to address the housing crisis. A key area for reform is our planning rules. This government is dedicated to exploring new ways to increase housing supply and enhance existing systems,” says NSW Minister for Housing Rose Jackson.

“One of those improvements is the new social and affordable housing planning pathway which will help our agencies get the job done faster.

“This is another important step in rebuilding the housing system in NSW. We need to expedite the delivery of more social and affordable homes and not have applications held up in unwieldy and complicated planning rules that don’t deliver homes for people in need.”

The changes in the approvals process follows on from changes made to social and affordable housing services made by the government. 

This includes a new bonus Floor Space Ratio (FSR) on new developments where, if a proposal includes a minimum of 15 percent affordable housing, it can increase its floorspace by a third. Other changes include amendments to self-assessment powers for certain social, affordable and public housing providers to ensure more homes can be built faster, and a requirement for affordable housing to be delivered at all TOD locations.