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What is the Kit for?

Every council in New South Wales faces the challenge of meeting demands for suitable and affordable housing.  The NSW Local Government Housing Kit provides a comprehensive, easily used resource for everyone involved in making the most of housing opportunities.

The NSW Government sets policies and requirements to provide for housing supply, affordability and suitability.  The Local Government Housing Kit is designed to help councils and their staff develop their vision for housing, meet planning challenges and improve the housing situation.  It brings together a rich array of useful resources with coherent guidance through the housing challenge.

The Kit can also help organisations and individuals working with councils to understand and respond to housing issues.  These include community housing providers, other not-for-profit organisations, developers, researchers and the community.

What does the Kit do?

The Local Government Housing Kit aims to provide resources to assist local government to respond to housing needs.  The Kit aligns with the Local Housing Strategy Guideline and with NSW Government requirements for action on affordable housing.

The Kit is not just a planning aid.  It goes beyond planning to explore the range of means that councils can deploy to realise local visions.  It also explains how interaction with the community, with local businesses and with organisations can complement planning, and support housing objectives.

Although local governments are not solely responsible for the housing and planning regime they implement, there is a lot they can do to make a difference.  The Local Government Housing Kit provides practical advice to councils on the many things they can do by using the full range of their powers, influence and opportunities.

Markets, needs and issues vary from area to area. The scope and focus of local housing strategies in metropolitan Sydney differ sharply from those in country areas, and again from heavily developed centres outside Sydney.  They differ also between stable and growth areas.  What works for one location might do more harm than good in another.  The Kit and the case studies within it acknowledge these differences and provide an array of helpful resources for all local governments in New South Wales.

What is in the Kit?

The Kit is conveniently divided into five modules providing comprehensive guidance on developing local housing strategies, including understanding and assessing financial viability, formulating policies and strategies, and delivering affordable housing.  Councils can also use individual modules to respond to short term opportunities and gaps, and to adjust to new or emerging issues.

Module 1 – Addressing Housing needs: Context, Roles and Issues.

Module 1 outlines the role of local government in developing housing strategies, how we define affordable housing, the policy context and key players.  It summarises key considerations on addressing housing and recent policy initiatives at state and national level.

Module 2 – Preparing and Implementing a Local Housing Strategy

Module 2 sets out step-by-step guidance to assist in developing a local housing strategy, outlining the role of community and stakeholder engagement; establishing the scope, goals and objectives for the strategy; identifying needs and market conditions; exploring and determining strategies and actions; and implementing and monitoring them. This model encourages councils to look at area of influence as well as their core powers and roles.

Module 3 – Building an Evidence Base

Module 3 provides guidance on developing a comprehensive evidence base and identifies data that can inform a local housing strategy. Much of the data is readily available through ABS and other agency websites and these are specified.

Module 4 – Financial Feasibility Assessment

Understanding feasibility is critical to implementing effective policies and strategies, particularly where councils intend to levy affordable housing contributions.  This module guides users through feasibility analysis.

Module 5 – Case Studies and Resources

This module provides resources for councils including guidance for consultancy studies, case studies and examples from Australia and overseas, a glossary of terms used in the Kit and details of government housing programs and initiatives.

The new edition of the NSW Local Government Housing Kit was commissioned by the Department of Communities and Justice and prepared by Urbanista.

Published by DCJ 2019.

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 Department of Communities and Justice.

Printable documents of the Local Government Housing Kit

Local Government Housing Kits - Full Kit and downloadable modules

Each module of the Local Government Housing Kit as well as the entire Kit and a brochure about the Kit is available for download in PDF format:

Local Government Housing Kit Database

The Local Government Housing Kit Database provides basic quantitative information on housing and housing-related matters by local government area. It allows the user to compare between local government areas, regions, statistical divisions or subdivisions.

The Local Government Housing Kit Database has been re-launched on an updated delivery platform. It contains the same material but is more user friendly and reliable. Future stages of this Database will aim to update the existing data and may add additional data where relevant.

Data up to and including 2016 is available through the link below:

The Local Government Housing Kit Database (2016 Census)

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Last updated: 24 Sep 2019