The roll out of legislation after legislation that purports to achieve major reforms in planning continues with Wynne’s latest effort on affordable/social housing. As with the Objector’s Act, the Garden requirements, and the Local Government Review, this latest effort is laughable. Here’s the hyped up media release –

Nothing is mandatory. Nothing forces the developer into any private arrangement with councils. If voluntary, then it will all depend on the dollars the developer sees as coming his way. For example: 12 storeys in Elsternwick and Carnegie is council’s ‘gift’ to the developer in exchange for 20 or perhaps 30 apartments set aside for social housing?

All Wynne has done with this latest legislation is to spell out the income levels that would classify individuals as ‘low’ or ‘average’ income earners and hence make them eligible for ‘affordable/social housing’. It goes nowhere in forcing councils and developers to set aside a reasonable percentage of land within developments to ensure that such housing becomes available.

By way of contrast, this extract from a recent article by ‘The Conversation’ shows what is being done overseas. There is much that could have been achieved if the will was really there.

There are now more than 500 inclusionary planning schemes operating in municipalities across the US. Some require developers to include affordable housing as part of development in a particular zone (usually a fixed percentage of units or floor space).

For example inclusionary planning programs in the city of San Francisco, California (population of around 830,000) generate around 150–250 affordable units per year (around 12% of the city’s total supply).

Other schemes allow variations to planning rules in return for affordable housing. These variations might permit additional density in certain areas or waive certain requirements that would normally apply or expedite the development assessment process.

Other schemes require financial contributions from developers to offset the impact of a project on affordable housing demand or supply.

These programs provide a way for governments to ensure affordable housing for lower income residents even in rapidly gentrifying neighbourhoods.


For those interested in reading the actual legislation and what it states, we’ve uploaded the relevant documents HERE and HERE