Local Planning Policy 2.12 - Affordable Housing

The City seeking public comment on a new local planning policy for affordable housing. Closing date: 8 August 2022 Follow project

The City is introducing a new Local Planning Policy to assist in responding to the growing issue of housing affordability by requiring mixed use and multiple dwelling development of 20 or more residential units within the growth areas of Stirling City Centre and Herdsman Glendalough to incorporate a minimum of 12% affordable housing.

Housing affordability is a growing issue in the City of Stirling and throughout Perth and Australia generally. At the 14 June 2022 Council meeting, Council resolved to prepare ‘Local Planning Policy 2.12 - Affordable Housing’ for the purposes of public advertising.

The proposed Policy is applicable to the planned growth areas of Stirling City Centre and Herdsman Glendalough where the provision of affordable housing in well connected, higher density areas will assist in delivery of diverse, sustainable communities. Variations to the applicable built form controls may be considered to offset any loss of profit resulting from the delivery of the required affordable housing.

FAQs

What is affordable housing?

Affordable housing is housing that is made available for rent or shared ownership (purchase) by individuals, couples or families who meet eligibility criteria including income thresholds that are based on the Keystart income limits unless specified otherwise.

The current Keystart income thresholds for shared home ownership are:

  • $70,000 (singles)
  • $90,000 (couples/families)

Visit the Keystart website here.

Housing is generally considered affordable if it costs less than 30% of total household income.

Why is the City proposing an Affordable Housing Policy?

The City Local Planning Strategy (October 2019) Actions for the City include:

  • Supporting the Department of Housing’s provision of affordable dwellings in appropriate locations
  • Promote diverse, adaptable and affordable housing near Activity Centres and along identified Corridors. 

Why is affordable housing important?

The provision of affordable housing contributes to the development of diverse, inclusive and sustainable communities.

Access to affordable housing promotes social inclusion and wellbeing, can reduce poverty and enhance equality of opportunity.

It provides opportunities for a diverse range of people to live near employment opportunities.

What is the difference between low-cost housing and affordable housing?

Low-cost housing is typically a small single bedroom or studio apartment that is sold at market value and on-sold based on prevailing market conditions. This generally sees growth in value and reduced affordability over time.

Affordable housing is typically a small single bedroom or studio apartment that is co-owned by the Department of Communities or other approved housing provider and an eligible owner(s) who meet income thresholds.

Typically, 70% of the equity is held by the eligible owner(s) reducing loan costs.

When in a position to move into a home of their own the equity in the property is sold back to the Department of Communities at current value and another eligible owner can benefit from the co-ownership arrangement.

What role does State Government play?

The State Government, through the Department of Communities, works in partnership with the private, government and not-for-profit sectors to deliver social and affordable housing across Perth and in regional and remote WA. 

Where does the Affordable Housing Policy apply?

LPP 2.12 - Affordable Housing will apply within the planned growth areas of Stirling City Centre and Herdsman Glendalough.

The provision of affordable housing may also be considered as a community benefit in support of variations to the planning framework across the City of Stirling. 

Refer to the CoS Mapping - Areas Subject to Affordable Housing Policy for more information.

How will the affordable housing be delivered under the Policy?

The Policy requires all mixed use and multiple dwelling developments comprising 20 or more residential units to provide 12% of the dwellings as affordable housing.

The affordable housing units are sold at construction cost to the Department of Communities, or alternative housing provider, approved by the City.

The provision of additional floor area, up to a maximum of the Net Lettable Area of the affordable housing units provided, may be supported by the City to offset any loss of profit due to providing the required affordable housing.

Is affordable housing required elsewhere in the City of Stirling?

Yes - The Metropolitan Redevelopment Authority (now DevelopmentWA) requires 12% affordable housing within all developments comprising 20 or more residential units in Scarborough.

Under DevelopmentWA’s Scarborough Design Guidelines inclusion of 15% affordable housing may be accepted as a community benefit to support achievement of the potential bonus height limits. 

How will the Policy affect development potential on a site?

The principle underpinning the Affordable Housing Policy is that the cost to the developer of providing the affordable housing is neutralised by:

  • Sale of the affordable units at construction cost
  • Increasing the development potential of sites to offset any loss of profit.

Proposed built form variations are to be identified in an Affordable Housing Statement submitted with the application to the City for planning approval and are to demonstrate that the variation(s) will not result in an inappropriate built form or amenity outcome.

What types of planning proposals are covered under ‘Local Planning Policy 2.12 - Affordable Housing’?

This Policy applies to all mixed use and multiple dwelling developments comprising 20 or more residential units.

The Policy does not apply to single dwelling or grouped dwelling developments.

Where can I find more detailed information on this proposal?

Item 12.2/CF1 in the 14 June 2022 Council meeting minutes contains the report on this proposal.

How is the construction cost of the affordable dwellings calculated?

To ensure administrative consistency across the City of Stirling, the City will rely on the Construction Cost Chart (CCC) applicable in the Scarborough Redevelopment Area which was prepared by independent construction cost consultants on behalf of DevelopmentWA, for more information, visit the website.

Construction cost is based on the size of the affordable dwelling(s) and the overall height of the development together with allowances for car parking, air conditioning, stores, balconies etc with costs escalated based on the Consumer Price Index.

The CCC is currently being reviewed to more accurately reflect 2022 construction costs with an updated version anticipated to be published by DevelopmentWA in the second half of 2022.

Timeline

14 June 2022

Council resolved to prepare ‘Local Planning Policy 2.12 – Affordable Housing’ for public consultation

7 July 2022

Community consultation commences

8 August 2022

Community consultation concludes

August/September 2022

Officer reviews comments received during community consultation

October 2022

Council considers outcomes of community consultation

October 2022 - To be confirmed

‘Local Planning Policy 2.12 - Affordable Housing’ comes into effect, if Council resolves to proceed with it.
See more

Useful documents

Document nameDownloadable files
Affordable Housing Policy(PDF)

For more information, please contact David Jack, City Future on (08) 9205 8555.

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