Media releases

City of Sydney tables planning change to boost housing

Published 15 April 2024

Proposed changes to planning rules are set to encourage developers create more build-to-rent residences in central Sydney, aimed at tackling the housing crisis.

The City of Sydney is now seeking feedback on the changes, with the proposed amendments to the Sydney Local Environment Plan 2012 open for public comment until May 14.

Under the proposal, developers would be given from 20% to 75% more floor space for build-to-rent development in conversions and new builds, depending on the site location.

This would apply to applications made within a five-year time frame from when the changes to the planning rules are made.

“The City is constantly changing and growing. Our planning system must respond to these changing needs and effectively deliver the space needed for jobs and housing,” Clover Moore AO said.

“We’ve seen build-to-rent work well overseas to help address the housing crisis, with these types of developments providing stable and secure accommodation for renters.

“As well as increasing rental stock in central Sydney, this type of accommodation has high occupancy rates. That’s great for inner-city vibrancy and avoids situations where international investors leave newly built flats empty.

“Build-to-rent housing does not sit idle with lights out, as some high-end investor apartments do, and these developments will help revitalise and boost the local economy.”

The proposal would also see developers able to access 20% more floor space for co-living accommodation, encouraging these developments which stimulate an increase in student and low-income worker accommodation close to major tertiary education institutions.

“Students are one of the groups hit hardest by the rental crisis in Sydney, with the lack of appropriate accommodation and affordability both major issues,” the Lord Mayor said.

“By offering these floor space incentives, we hope landowners and developers will create more co-living accommodation in areas like Haymarket, which has proved popular with students.”

The draft changes will be placed on public exhibition until May 14.

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For media enquiries or images, contact Nicky Breen
Phone 0436 599 861 or email

For interviews with Lord Mayor Clover Moore contact Paul Mackay
Phone 0436 816 604 or email