Skip to content
GettyImages 109723407

Making housing more affordable

Published 10th September, 2018

61,000 housing completions on average per year to 2021.

Why is this important to the people of NSW?

We know that home buyers across NSW want a fair go.

The NSW Government is committed to improving housing affordability and giving first home buyers a fair go. In 2017 the government announced a Housing Affordability Strategy of which this Premier’s Priority to increase the supply of housing is one part.  

First home buyers face increasing hurdles to get into the market. Rising prices and a lack of housing availability mean that it is more difficult than ever to own your own home.

We want to ensure enough homes are built to meet the needs of a growing population and at the same time, consider the unique character of our local neighbourhoods. While we have doubled housing completions across NSW since coming to government, more needs to be done.

NSW’s population is expected to grow by more than 100,000 every year. By 2036, an extra 2.1 million residents will need somewhere to live.

How are we tracking?

Housing completions

There have been over 65,000 housing completions in NSW over the 12 months to June 2018. With the number of commencements also rising steadily since 2012, we are now ahead of the 2021 target.

To support the Premier's commitment to deliver 61,000 housing completions on average per year, we will focus on two targets:

  1. 90 per cent of housing approvals determined within 40 days by 2019
  2. State-led rezoning for 10,000 additional dwellings on average per year in appropriate areas to 2021.

Faster housing approvals

Housing approvals is a lead indicator for completions. By focusing on processing approvals as efficiently as possible, we will support new housing supply entering the market quickly.


Accelerating rezoning will speed up the supply of available homes in appropriate areas.

What are we doing?

Faster housing approvals

  • Implementing NSW Housing Affordability Strategy to give first home buyers a fair go.
  • Streamlining housing approval processes: The Development Application Best Practice Guide supports councils to speed up housing approvals across NSW. Faster housing approvals lead to the efficient delivery of new housing.
  • Online lodgement of housing applications: A new online Complying Development Certificate service for some residential development types has been released through the NSW Planning Portal. The service is available in a limited number of council areas, however it will be expanded to include more councils and private certifiers in late 2018. It will create a standard process across NSW and provide more transparency in the approval system.
  • Improving and simplifying the state policy for exempt and complying development: We are creating fast-track housing approvals processes for developments by implementing:
    • a new Simplified Housing Code
    • Medium Density, Greenfield and Inland Codes.

Accelerate rezoning

Planned Precincts are being expanded to fast-track the delivery of new homes. These precincts will accelerate the rezoning of land to support new and more diverse developments.


Case studies

Canterbury-Bankstown Council – Embedding a culture of continuous improvement

A planner speaking to clients

The Premier’s Priority target of 40 days has focused councils on identifying opportunities to improve their processing times. With the amalgamation of Canterbury and Bankstown councils, there was an opportunity to reassess existing processes across both councils to improve efficiency and outcomes for customers.

This opportunity resulted in a number of improvements including:

  • Planners communicate with customers earlier in the assessment process to start building the relationship, which means they can be proactive about any issues that arise.
  • Planners are personally responsible for signing off plans, increasing individual accountability. Quality assurance is provided by peer review and regular audits.
  • Detailed process mapping of assessment has identified areas where planners can work better with other areas of council and better use of technology to improve timeliness and outcome.
  • DA approval times embedded as a KPI across the council management team, driving a shared responsibility for meeting targets. Data is tracked and communicated monthly to drive performance improvements.
  • Additional training opportunities offered to planners, particularly in areas of urban design, to better equip them to achieve higher quality development outcomes.

These new processes support strong, personal relationships between planners, customers, the community and other areas of the council. This builds the knowledge base of individual planners to improve their professional judgement and decision making, and has helped embed a culture of continuous improvement across council.

Planned Precincts and Growth Areas

How we’re planning for a growing Sydney

In 2015, we launched the Priority Precinct program. It focuses on identifying areas across Greater Sydney suitable for rejuvenation with new homes and jobs.

These areas have now evolved into Planned Precincts, with a focus on providing priority infrastructure. This includes schools, parks, transport, hospitals and road upgrades.

Thousands of community members have already provided input on what they want in their areas. The next step involves working with local councils, communities and Members of Parliament to plan for high-quality suburbs with excellent access to world-class public transport and services.

Greater Parramatta Growth Area

Greater Parramatta is fast emerging as the centre of Sydney and will experience significant growth and change over the next 20 years. A Land Use and Infrastructure Implementation Plan has been developed to plan for a connected, vibrant city with more homes, jobs and essential services. It will guide redevelopment and identify the infrastructure needed to support change over the long-term.

The plan will include:

  • more than 120,000 additional jobs over the next 20 years across a range of professions and industries
  • more than 57,000 new homes to cater for the growing population
  • $10 billion worth of public and private investment in the next 5 to 10 years to support new communities and industries
  • improved public transport and active transport links which will provide communities with increased access and transport choices
  • connecting communities to the Parramatta River and assisting to revitalise the river foreshore
  • providing additional high-quality public opens spaces that support a range of activities
  • providing more tree canopy to improve the amenity of where people live and work
  • recognition of Greater Parramatta’s rich history and culture in planning for the future of the area’s diversity
  • supporting the development of the Westmead health and education precinct
  • supporting Sydney Olympic Park’s role as a major town centre and world-class events and sporting venue
  • enhancing regional connectivity.

Find out more about the Greater Parramatta Growth Area

Published 10th September, 2018
Top of page