Affordable Housing

Campaigning Update:

Tripartite.PNGOn Thursday evening March 14 2019, nine days before the next NSW election, 1901 leaders and citizens came together at Sydney Town Hall to urge political decision-makers from State and Federal politics work with us on solutions for on affordable housing, household energy and rental reform.

It was a night filled with energy, diversity and the real stories of everyday people suffering under our housing and energy systems. Together we showed our politicians the depth of feeling in our communities and organisations about this issues. To read up on the commitments we secured together, click here

The Campaign:

Sydney’s housing is among the most expensive in the world. Throughout our listening campaigns and public assemblies from 2013, a wide range of people from across Sydney have expressed their deep concerns about the lack of affordable housing and its impact on homelessness.

Since 2013 The Sydney Alliance has called on the NSW Government to support action on affordable housing through a plan, with numerical targets, to increase the supply of social and affordable housing in NSW. Our campaign has helped persuade the NSW Government to introduce 'Inclusionary Zoning' for affordable housing – but this is just the start.

We also support the campaign by the Make Renting Fair Alliance to improve renter security by ending the “no grounds” evictions under NSW law.

We’ve met with NSW government and shadow ministers, MPs and advisers, and made personal and written submissions to the government’s review by its Greater Sydney Commission (GSC). Our submission to the GSC carried the support of 122 organisations.

We also surveyed community opinion in a face-to-face community survey in the (marginal) Western Sydney electorate of Penrith on 17 March 2018. The Penrith survey findings and report showed very strong support for our aims. 

The “Three Cities” report of March 2018 that resulted from the GSC review, for the first time, included Inclusionary Zoning targets Sydney-wide – but the targets were very low, wording weak and application limited. We’re now campaigning at state and local government levels to strengthen and extend these targets; and to end the “no grounds” evictions – which the Victorian government has done, but the NSW government has yet to commit to.

Affordable Rental Targets: The Asks

NSW Govt “3 cities” plan: Sydney Alliance:
5-10% 15% on Private Land 30% on Public land
% is applied to the ‘uplift’ after rezoning % is applied to the whole development
Very Low and Low income households eligible for Affordable Housing Very Low, Low and Moderate income households eligible for Affordable Housing
No clear process for assessing whether a new development is ‘viable’ for affordable housing. Unrortable process: Clear, transparent viability criteria starting from presumption that new developments will be viable for affordable housing; review process includes community representation.



Affordable (rental) housing is housing that is appropriate for the needs of very low to moderate income households and is priced so that these households are also able to meet other basic living costs such as food, clothing, transport, medical care and education.

** Note this definition is different to past definitions where affordable housing was simply 20% below market rate.

** Community Housing Providers have 30 years’ experience running affordable housing and have very sophisticated processes for ensuring that it goes to those eligible.

Targets / Inclusionary zoning is the policy of including a % of affordable housing in every new development. Targets in the GSC plans are specific and enforceable through the planning system.

This Youtube from the USA explains the basics.

Want more detail? check out this summary by Shelter NSW


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