Housing Strategies

HOUSING STRATEGIES (State Government initiated) 

Plans which direct the Housing Strategy 

Greater Sydney Region Plan The GSR is a State Government plan which provides a 40 year vision for managing Sydney’s growth. 

South District Plan also State Government is a guide for implementing the Greater Sydney Region Plan in the South District. It names Miranda/Kirrawee as Strategic Centres where there is potential for more high density development 

Local Strategic Planning Statement (LSPS) is Sutherland Shire Councils LSPS which builds upon the South District Plan. It sets out the future direction for planning in the Sutherland Shire over the next 20 years. It guides changes to the planning framework comprising the Local Environment Plan (LEP), the Development Control plan (DCP) and the Development Contributions Plan. 

The directives of all these plans require Council to do the following actions. 

-Achieve a 5year housing target (2016-2021) of 5200 dwellings. This target was exceeded. 

-Achieve a 6-10year housing target of 3,800 dwellings. Council is expected to easily meet this target. 

-Forecast a 20year capacity target. 

-Incorporate a number of State Environmental Planning Policies (SEPP) e.g 

Housing State Environmental Policy (SEPP) which contains Planning rules for boarding houses, co-living, built to rent, seniors housing, social housing. 

See department of Planning and Environmental website. www.planning.nsw.au- FAQs – Policy and Legislation – Housing-State Environmental Planning Policy  (Housing)2021 



Housing Targets 

Council proposes an overall housing capacity target of 22,000 additional dwellings by 2041. Council predicts that this target is likely to be exceeded. The target consists of the remaining capacity under Sutherland Shire Local Environment Plan (SSLEP) 2015 plus proposed new rezonings for high density in and around centres. 

Despite recent record levels of development, there is still substantial capacity remaining for housing under SSLEP 2015. 

In the Low Density Zones there is capacity for 19,124 additional dwellings.  

There is still capacity remaining in the R4 Residential Flat Zone, but this is expected to be used up by 2031. 

The business zones in the centres still have substantial capacity for new dwellings, but the high cost of land and small lot sizes make development unfeasible. 

Council proposes to rezone new areas in and around selected town centres to provide 2243 apartments above what is currently permissible. Together with the existing capacity in centres, this will result in an estimated 3765 new apartments.  

In 2021 Council conducted a survey on community preferences for future housing in Sutherland Shire. The results showed the following preferences. One third for dual occupancy, one third for villa and townhouses and 20% for units 6 storeys and below and 10% for units above 6 storeys. There was little support for units above 6 storeys as they are considered to be out of character with the shire. Council has incorporated these preferences in the Housing Strategy. 

What are the main priorities and actions in the Housing Strategy? 

The main action proposed by the Housing Strategy is to concentrate additional development in and around selected town centres by rezoning new areas for high density development and permit additional building height in selected areas in the centres to encourage Affordable Housing. 

The Draft Housing Strategy does not name the specific areas where rezonings will occur. These details will be provided in plans for selected town centres -Place Plans. 

The plans will be exhibited in a staged approach over 4 years. The Plans for Miranda, Sutherland/Kirrawee and Caringbah centres are proposed to be exhibited in early 2024. They will be followed by plans for Cronulla, Woolooware, Engadine and Gymea. 

Dual Occupancy 

In 2021The department of Planning and Environment granted Council a 2 year exemption for Dual Occupancy development in the R2 Low Density Zone from the floor space ratio controls in the Low Rise Housing Diversity Code. Council was able to successfully argue that Council’s own planning framework is delivering significant numbers of dual occupancies. The exemption will expire in in October 2023. The Housing Strategy proposes that the Council lobbies the DPE to make the exemption permanent. Council is proposing to to amend Sutherland Shire Local Environment Plan 2015 to make dual occupancy a complying form of development to be permitted under Council’s own planning rules. 

Affordable Housing 

As required by the State Government, the Housing Strategy commits to an Affordable Housing target of 5% of al new dwellings approvals between 2021 and 2041. Affordable Rental Housing is housing for very low, low and moderate income households who are required to pay no more than 30% of gross household income in rent. Council must apply Affordable Renting Housing targets in defined precincts before rezoning occurs. These precincts are likely to be in Miranda, Caringbah and Cronulla.  

State Environmental Planning Policy (Housing)2021 grants applicants bonus floor space if they provide a portion of the building for affordable housing. Applicants claim they are unable to use the full floor space bonus because of the SSLEP2015 height limits. The Housing Strategy proposes a height bonus of one or two storeys for all development of Affordable Rental Housing which utilises the State floor space ratio bonus. 

Council must prepare an Affordable Dwellings Contribution Scheme for the areas that benefit from an increase in development potential. The contributions will be paid to Council’s preferred registered community housing provider to support development of Affordable Housing. 

Council is proposing to reduce parking requirements for Affordable Dwellins in line with State parking requirements.  

Social Housing 

Social Housing is publicly owned by the Land and Housing Corporation. Council is committed to working with LAHC to provide more social housing. LAHC has a program to redevelop their land using the “Communities Plus” model, which delivers a mix of social housing, affordable rental housing and housing for the private rental sector. LAHC is currently looking at opportunities in Caringbah and Gymea. Council is committed to prepare a precinct plan for North Gymea in collaboration with LAHC to encourage redevelopment od private land, in conjunction with sites owned by LAHC. 

Seniors Housing  

Council considers there is no impediment to delivery of seniors housing under the current planning framework. The Housing Strategy proposes a target of 1,520 Independent Living Units by 2041. It proposes changes to controls in selected B1 local centres to create additional opportunities for people to downsize within their local community. The Housing Strategy proposes that Council lobby the DPE for Independent Living Units in retirement villages to be counted as separate dwellings and be included in the housing target. 

Draft Affordable Housing Contributions Scheme 

The scheme will apply to areas where development potential is increased. This includes changes to zoning and development standards identified as part of the Housing Strategy, plans for centres and areas around them, future LEP amendments and rezonings initiated by developers and landowners. The Scheme must be in place before rezonings occur. The Scheme sets out how contribution rates will be calculated and where they will apply. The contributions collected will be paid to Council’ preferred community housing provider to support delivery of affordable housing. 

For more information see Council Reports: 

Planning and Growth Committee 05/06/2023 PLNO18-23 Draft Affordable Housing Contributions Scheme. 

Council Meeting 26/06/2023 COR020-23 Draft Affordable Housing Contributions Scheme – Further report on Alternative Options. 

Proposed Collaboration Agreement with NSW Land and Housing Corporation (LAHC) 

The agreement is based on exchange of information and cooperation between Council and LAHC to achieve more sovial housing. The key priority for LAHC at this time is collaborating with Council on planning and renewal of the precinct bounded by Gymea TAFE, The Kingsway, Gymea Technology High School and Milburn Road where LAHC owns a large proportion of the land. 

The LAHC properties in Flide Street Caringbah are identified as a secondary priority for renewal. 

The agreement also identifies other priority pathways to investigate for new social housing in Sutherland Shire.  

Sites owned by Sutherland Shire Council or other Government ownership. 

Redevelopment of existing LAHC owned properties. 

Acquistion of sites or newly constructed housing. 

For more information see Council Report. 

Planning and Growth Committee 10/07/2023 PLN020-23. Proposed Collaboration Agreement with NSW Land and Housing Corporation. 


Housing Targets are just estimates 

The proposed target of 22,000 new dwellings in the Shire, including 3,765 additional units in and around town centres, are just estimates. The actual number of new dwellings built depends on a number of factors which Council cannot control e.g. market demand, economic circumstances and how quickly developers take up the available capacity. After gazettal of LEP 2015, development in all zones occurred faster than predicted and Council exceeded dwelling target for 2016 – 2021. In the Miranda Pinnacle Street Precinct Council predicted that 520 units would be built by 2031. To date 758 units have been built or are under construction. 

Larger Areas Rezoned Than Needed  

Council proposes to rezone larger areas for apartments than needed to meet minimum targets. Council considers this will allow flexibility to respond to changing conditions and may make housing more affordable. However despite the record amount of development since SSLEP2015 came into force, housing in Sutherland Shire has not become more affordable. 

Incentives Result in Bigger Bulkier Buildings 

Incentives Result in Bigger, Bulkier Buildings

The incentives proposed to encourage construction of affordable housing – increased floor space and building height – will make these buildings bigger in bulk and scale than other development in the zone, resulting in adverse impacts on streetscape and amenity. Affordable housing unitsbuilt by private developers will only provide a temporary benefit. The affordable housing units will only remain affordable for 15 years, after which they can be sold or rented at market rates. The adverse impacts of the taller and bulkier buildings will be permanent and remain for the life of the building. 

High Density Around Centres Won’t Protect Low Density Areas 

The main objective of the Housing Strategy is to concentrate high density development around centres. However this will not guarantee protection of low density areas from proliferation of dual occupancy and medium density development. Council has no control over the number of dual occupancies and town houses which are built in the R2Low Density Zone. Council’s planning rules allow town houses  and dual occupancies to be built anywhere in the zone. Sutherland Shire Council is one of only a small number of Councils which allow medium density in the R2 zone. 

Centres Have Inadequate Public Open Space  

Council acknowledges that the centres have the lowest amount of public open space per person in the Shire. Due to the high cost of acquiring land and the predicted increase in population in centres, the amount of public open space per person will continue to decline. 

Council Background Reports On The Housing Strategy 


See strategic planning reports:


PLN017-22 Local Housing Strategy 2041 – Draft Vision and Objectives 

PLN018-22 Local Housing Strategy 2041-Housing Supply, Future Pipelines of Housing 

Development and the Housing Target 

PLN019-22 Local Housing Strategy 2041 Social and Affordable Housing 08/08/2022 

PLN024-22 Local Housing Strategy 2041 - Medium Density Housing 8/08/2022

PLN022-22 Local Housing Strategy 2041 – Seniors Housing 

PLN023-22 Local Housing Strategy 2041  -  Dual occupancy and Secondary Dwellings 


PLN031-22 Local Housing Strategy  2041 – Apartments 


PLN033-22  Local Housing Strategy  2041 – Further report- Opportunities for Affordable Housing.