The Government has streamlined the planning system to enable faster provision of more affordable housing.
The new system allows Housing NSW to self-approve developments of up to 20 dwellings provided they meet strict assessment, design and environmental criteria, ensuring a faster start to construction. Previously, the average approval time for Housing NSW projects was 280 days. Under the new approvals system, this time has been reduced to an average of 38 days, a saving of 242 days or almost eight months.
In early 2009, a five-villa affordable housing development in Liverpool in Sydney’s South West was one of the first developments to be approved using the new system. Site foreman Andrew Zeaiter (pictured) from Tom Zeaiter Constructions, said the Anderson Avenue project involved 28 weeks’ work for nine full-time tradespeople. Recent studies indicate a strong need for more affordable housing, with nearly half of all low and moderate income earners in the NSW private rental market—some 185,000 households—experiencing rental housing stress. That means that they are paying at least 30 per cent of their income in rent.Page 54 - Department of Planning Annual Report, 2008-09