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The growing need to service an ageing and also rapidly growing population has highlighted a need to increase our range of housing options. Called the ‘missing middle’, the Low Rise Medium Density Housing Code is helping to manage a changing society and the critical housing shortage.

Low-rise medium density housing assists housing affordability by providing smaller homes, on smaller lots, but still providing all the amenities of a single dwelling. They can better accommodate a wide variety of lifestyles and needs, including growing families or empty nesters.

The goal of the new code is increasing the supply of housing across New South Wales, particularly in Sydney, and helping to improve affordability.

According to CEO of Suburbanite, property commentator and valuer, Anna Porter, the Low Rise Medium Density Housing Code aims at fast-tracking complying development approval for 1 and 2 storey side-by side occupancies, manor houses, terraces and dual-occupancies (one above the other) in New South Wales.

According to Ms Porter, “It means the Development Applications for this type of housing can be hurried through councils at a faster pace. The new code fast-tracks approval to 20 days if compliant.”

After three years of consultation, the Code commenced in most council areas on July 6, 2018. It allows well-designed medium density housing within complying development approval guidelines. A few councils have requested further time to get ready for the introduction of the Code. Lane Cove, Liverpool, Bankstown and Northern Beaches Councils were granted a deferral until July 1, 2019.

Ms Porter says “Downsizers are the demographic that will most likely benefit from an increased supply of medium density housing. The ageing population will have increased housing stock to select from when choosing to downsize, while putting their big family style houses on the market.

The new code and policy is a pragmatic response to the shortage of housing in New South Wales. Melbourne has the same housing supply and affordability issues as Sydney and we hope to see the Victorian government take similar initiatives here.