Centre for Affordable Housing

NSW Local Government Housing Kit

This document is a work in progress and is subject to continuous review based on user feedback. Data is also updated whenever appropriate.

What is the Kit for?

The NSW Local Government Housing Kit has been created to help councils understand housing needs and issues in their region, and to formulate appropriate responses to those needs using a strategic approach, accessible information and practical applications.

Using its statutory powers and resources, local government can significantly improve housing outcomes in the community through its influential role in planning, development and construction. Exercising these functions can deliver additional housing, guide the form of that housing and influence the cost of housing production. Housing outcomes are also influenced by many other council activities- such as rate setting, infrastructure pricing and community service delivery.

What does the Kit do?

Each tier of government shares responsibility for shaping housing outcomes and developing strategies to address the housing needs of New South Wales’ residents. The Kit starts by setting out the statutory framework for housing, which specifies the roles and responsibilities of each level of government.

The Kit examines the need for Local Housing Strategies, and describes the potential role and scope of a Housing Strategy.

The Kit then takes users step-by-step through the practical development of a Strategy. Offering a rational and comprehensive process, these steps:

  • establish the principles that will guide the approach adopted in the strategy;
  • help prepare a problem statement setting out opportunities and constraints in the housing market;  
  • formulate locally-relevant goals and objectives whereby future action will deal with identified problems;  
  • analyse policy options and making policy recommendations;
  • show the preparation of an implementation or action plan; and
  • set up a mechanism for monitoring and reviewing the strategy.

The Kit also describes the essential process of public involvement in the preparation of a housing strategy, ensuring that the public and the various local interest groups are engaged at each step of the way.

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What is in the Kit?

The Kit provides assessment methods, data, strategies and other guidance to:

  • help councils’ with local planning processes as they impact on housing;
  • raise awareness of other ways councils can promote the supply of housing that meets the needs of local communities;
  • encourage specific and locally responsive projects that will increase the supply of, or access to, suitable housing.

The Kit will be most useful to those within councils tasked with analysing local housing markets and developing local housing strategies, such as town planners, strategic planners and social planners. It provides easy access to relevant quantitative and qualitative information.The quantitative information is contained in the Kit's database.

As a web-based resource, the Kit is updated regularly to incorporate changing policies on housing and planning and provide the most up-to-date resource material, including local examples of successful housing strategies shared by councils across NSW.

The NSW Local Government Housing Kit was originally commissioned by the Housing NSW in cooperation with the Department of Planning and based on a consultant’s report prepared by Vivienne Milligan, Rebecca Richardson, Nicole Gurran, Peter Phibbs and Kate Fagan. The Kit is under continual revision. This version was published in March 2008.

First published by © Housing NSW 2006.

This work is copyright. It may be reproduced in whole or in part for study or training purposes subject to the inclusion of an acknowledgement of the source. It may not be reproduced for commercial use or sale. Reproduction for purposes other than those indicated above requires written permission from the Housing NSW.

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