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Conference paper

Situated within the wider neoliberal urban policy context, planning deregulation has long been promoted as a key response to housing affordability, whereby the ‘market’ is seen to be the best placed to address unmet housing needs. In Australia as in many other nations, the urban reform agenda has also sought to deregulate residential planning controls as a strategy for enabling new and diverse housing production.

This paper examines the outcomes of one such deregulatory strategy, focusing on the NSW State’s planning reform to enable secondary dwellings (‘granny flats’) ‘as of right’ in residential zones. Through interviews with local councils and industry we analyse the role of ‘deregulation’ in enabling a market response to housing need and highlight the limits of this approach as a solution to affordability.

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