Boarding houses are now controlled by Housing State Environmental Planning Policy (SEPP).
The room sizes remain the same – minimum 12 square metres for a single room and 16 square metres for a double room. The maximum size permitted is 25 metres, excluding kitchens and bathrooms.
Communal indoor and outdoor space must be provided.
Parking required: 0.2 spaces in “accessible” areas within 800metres of a transport hub such as a train station. 0.5 spaces elsewhere.
Boarding houses are allowed in high, medium and low density zones. Boarding houses are no longer mandatory in R2 Low Density zone but individual councils may choose to permit them in low density zone. There is a limit of 12 rooms in the low Density zone.
Boarding houses must demonstrate compatibility with the character of the local area or desired future character for areas undergoing transition.
Boarding houses receive a 20% floor space bonus and a 25% bonus on land where residential flat buildings are permitted.
Boarding houses must have an on-site manager or one who is contactable 24/7.
Boarding houses must be used as affordable housing in perpetuity and must be run by a community housing provider in perpetuity.
A new planning pathway has been introduced to allow the NSW Land and Housing Corporation (LAHC) to self-assess some boarding house proposals.
The State Government is considering further incentives to encourage delivery of boarding houses.
The State Government counts a boarding house as one dwelling despite the large number of rooms and occupants.
For details of the new State policy Housing SEPP - see NSW Department of Planning and Environment website:
Under the previous State Environmental Planning Policy (Affordable Rental Housing) 2009 (now repealed), private developers were offered significant financial and planning incentives to build boarding houses. There was a rise in the number of boarding house applications in Sutherland Shire, some very large, with large numbers of occupants. Council added new controls to Sutherland Shire Development Control Plan 2015 (Amendment 5) to address community concerns about boarding houses. For details see DCP2015 page.
To view Council controls for boarding houses go to: