So just how great is the population growth in today’s NSW? Well, another million people over age 65 will live in the area by 2041. A population of 2.9 million will define the area by 2041. More housing diversity will be needed to accommodate a greater range of needs and lifestyles. In short, Sydney needs more in the way of affordable housing—ASAP.

Indeed, the need for both diversity and quality of NSW housing is more important than ever; and in response to this need, the NSW Government is helping to supply greater housing diversity by way of the Low-Rise Housing Diversity Code. The Low-Rise Housing Diversity Code permits competently designed dual occupancies, manor houses and terraces (up to two storeys) to be built in accordance with a fast-tracked complying development approval pathway.

Under the Low-Rise Housing Diversity Code, the NSW Government will supply a broader housing selection of high design quality to cultivate liveable and attractive communities.

On 1 July 2020, the Low-Rise Medium Density Housing Code was given the new name of the Low-Rise Housing Diversity Code to take into account the varying housing options it supplies. The Code governs all regional government areas in NSW.

The Code only applies in council zones in which this type of housing is permitted.

The Code was developed after nearly three years of consultation, including a Discussion Paper in 2015, a drafted Design Guide and Explanation of Intended Effects, and the ‘Missing Middle’ design contest in 2016.

For more information about low density housing in NSW, information regarding exempt and complying development in particular can be discovered at the NSW Planning Portal, visit Exempt development or Complying development.