What is Affordable Rental Housing?

    Affordable Rental Housing is low cost housing that is usually developed with assistance from the NSW and/or Commonwealth Governments including financial contributions and planning incentives. This housing is usually managed by not for profit community housing providers. 

    Affordable housing can include housing for seniors, people with disability, students, social housing, homelessness and people with very low to medium incomes.  

    What is the difference between Affordable Housing and Housing Affordability

    ‘Affordable housing’ is housing priced so that very low, low and moderate income households are able to meet their housing costs and still meet other basic living costs such as food, clothing, transport, medical care and education. Housing is considered affordable to these households if it costs less than 30% of their gross household income. 

    ‘Housing affordability’ is the broad term used to describe the range of factors that contribute to the relationship between the cost of housing (price, mortgage repayments or rent) compared to income. 

    What is Social Housing?

    Social Housing is secure affordable rental housing for people on very low and low incomes with housing needs. It includes public, community and Aboriginal housing. Public housing is managed by Department of Communities and Justice (DCJ (formerly Department of Family and Community Services – FACS) while community housing managed by non-government organisations.  There are over 6,700 social housing dwellings in Wollongong (8% of the housing stock).

    What is Community Housing?

    Community Housing is affordable rental housing for people on very low to moderate incomes that is generally managed by not for profit community housing organisations. Community housing sits alongside other parts of the housing system that help people on low incomes.

    What are Accessible Houses and Adaptable Houses?

    An Accessible House is designed to meet the needs of people requiring higher level access from the outset, usually designed and built for a person with a disability. 

    Adaptable Houses adopt ideas similar to that of a liveable house, but in addition is able to be easily adapted to become accessible, if the need should arise. Adaptable housing requires compliance with AS 4200 – Adaptable Housing.

    What are Local Character Statements?

    Local Character Statements are an "encouraged approach to articulate local character and to help crystallise the community’s aspirations for an area. Local character statements may be a starting point for the community to identify the agreed direction for the future of their locality. They can be integrated into the planning system at various stages" ( NSW Local Character and Place Guideline February 2019).

    Why is the Options Paper so long and complicated?

    Housing is a complex issue that affects the whole community. To be effective in increasing the supply of housing and affordable housing, Council need to present the evidence that change is required, and present a range of options for the community to consider.  The feedback will guide the preparation of the draft Housing Strategy.

    How can I see the current zoning of Wollongong LGA, including where I live?

    You can visit the Planning and Environment Map, which is located on the Wollongong City Council website. 

    The Planning and Environment Map shows you information from the Local Environmental Plans (LEP). This includes: 

    • zoning 
    • floor space ratios 
    • height restrictions and minimum lot sizes
    • heritage items 
    • conservation areas.

    What is the Wollongong Development Control Plan?

    The Wollongong Development Control Plan (DCP) is a set of Council policies that explain how developments need to be designed to meet the conditions of the Local Environmental Plan (LEP) and State-wide rules. 

    For example, an LEP might tell you how big your house can be compared to the size of your land, and the DCP will outline details like where windows or balconies should go, or how fences should be built. 

    There are many chapters in the DCP, and each one covers a different type of development. This includes everything from residential houses to businesses, bush fire and stormwater management, and local heritage. There are also sections of the DCP that have specific rules for smaller local areas, like the City Centre, and numerous residential estates.

    What is the Low Rise Medium Density Code?

    The Low Rise Medium Density Housing Code was introduced via State Environment Planning policy (SEPP) (Exempt and Complying Development Codes (2008) (the Code) in July 2018. 

    Under the Code, one and two-storey dual occupancies, manor houses and terraces could be assessed and approved by a Private Certifier and carried out under a fast track complying development approval.  This approval pathway is different to the current development application process and different planning controls would apply. Under the Policy, neighbours are not notified that a proposal is being considered, until just before construction commences.

    The commencement of the Code has been deferred for Wollongong LGA until 1 July 2020. Currently Council is seeking exemption from the Code 

    Further information on risks, benefits, shortfalls and implications of the Low Rise Medium Denisty Code are provided in the Options Paper (p75).