Luke Acherstraat, PCA. Image – LinkedIn and Canva.
  • State Government has released a draft Housing State Environmental Planning Policy
  • Re-opening of international borders and influx of international students coming
  • PCA urges state government to include student housing in the policy

The Property Council of Australia has expressed concern over the NSW Government’s decision not to include planning controls for student housing, especially with the looming border reopening.

This comes after the State Government released a draft of the Housing State Environmental Planning Policy (Housing SEPP),  that covers ways to deliver more diverse and affordable housing types and boost housing supply.

The Property Council NSW executive director Luke Achterstraat said, “we are concerned the state government has not included specific planning controls for student housing in their recently released draft housing legislation.”

Mr Achterstraat said providing an adequate supply of student housing for the incoming flux of university students will be critical in supporting the re-opening of international borders.

“When students return to Australia to commence or continue their studies, it is important that they can access safe, purpose-built student accommodation in locations close to their campuses.

The Property Council NSW executive director Luke Achterstraat

“We are expecting increasing amounts of students to arrive before the new year and they all require affordable, accessible accommodation in a sensible location.”

Mr Achterstraat said with student housing providers relying on development standards and provisions that are not fit for purpose, the growth potential of the industry and the supply of student accommodation is hindered.

“This is an unfortunate oversight and will have significant ramifications for the university sector as well as the student housing providers in NSW who are looking to invest and deliver student housing in areas of high demand,” he said.

“We urge the state government to include planning provisions for the development of student housing when the Housing Policy is finalised later this year.”

The current draft Housing SEPP plans to:

  • consolidate five existing housing-related SEPPs,
  • include the recently made provisions for short term rental accommodation and build-to-rent housing,
  • include the recently updated social housing provisions,
  • introduce provisions for co-living housing, a form of housing that provides small private rooms, offset by access to managed communal spaces,
  • incorporate amendments to boarding house and seniors housing provisions,
  • and amend some local environmental plans in relation to secondary dwellings in rural zones, and the permissibility of boarding houses in R2 zones.
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