Affordable housing, urban renewal and planning: emerging practice in Queensland, South Australia and New South Wales

Housing Urbanisation Community housing Social housing Australia New South Wales Queensland South Australia
Attachment Size
apo-nid32001.pdf 2.71 MB

This report reviews the new planning powers in New South Wales under the State Environmental Planning Policy and examines how planning and housing policy domains can work together to increase affordable housing supply and their effectiveness.


Key findings:

  • Most Australian jurisdictions have introduced specific planning initiatives for affordable housing since 2008. Nationally, there is a focus on supporting the growth of a new affordable housing sector and the potential role of the planning system in facilitating access to development opportunities for affordable housing providers.
  • There is increasing use of government land or development authorities to facilitate land for housing supply in urban renewal contexts, with varying levels of mandate for including dedicated affordable housing for low and moderate income earners as well as wider affordabibility goals.
  • At least three jurisdictions (NSW, Qld & SA) have introduced planning system incentives or bonuses to encourage affordable housing development, and this is foreshadowed in Western Australia.
  • Five of the eight Australian states and territories refer to affordable housing, or housing diversity in their overarching planning legislation, opening the door for affordable housing to be considered when plans are made and proposals assessed, although further work is needed to operationalise specific planning mechanisms in most instances.
  • Nationwide, this study has identified at least 20 specific urban renewal sites on which the planning system has contributed to the procurement of affordable housing for low and moderate income earners to rent or purchase. In NSW, a total of 3964 affordable dwellings have been delivered in urban renewal contexts through the planning system from 1995–2012, and schemes in Qld and SA have been steadily gaining traction.

Authored by Gethin Davison, Nicole Gurran, Ryan van den Nouwelant, Simon Pinnegar and Bill Randolph with Glen Bramley.

Publication Details