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What is affordable housing?

Affordable housing is housing available to very low to moderate income households which is priced so that these households are also able to meet other basic living costs such as food, clothing, transport, energy, medical care and education.

As a rule of thumb, housing is usually considered affordable if it costs less than 30% of gross household income.[1]

In this context, affordable housing refers to housing that has been developed with some assistance from the NSW, local and/or commonwealth governments, including through planning incentives. It may include a range of housing types and sizes, including single or multi-bedroom units or houses, as well as studio apartments.

Affordable housing is only available in some locations and eligibility criteria apply. It is usually available for rent at a discount to the market rent for a comparable property in the area it is in.

Affordable rental housing may be owned by local or state government, community housing providers, charitable organisations, private developers or investors. It must be managed by a registered community housing provider and in accordance with the NSW Affordable Housing Ministerial Guidelines PDF, 14062.98 KB.

[1] While this figure provides a useful benchmark of housing affordability, the definition of affordability varies according to a household’s individual circumstances. Demands on the same gross income may differ significantly.

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Last updated: 10 Apr 2024