Affordable Housing


Mark Lawler Architects has extensive experience building and designing affordable housing under NSW Government policies.

We have completed and are undertaking a number of developments under the New South Wales State Environmental Planning Policy Affordable Rental Housing (ARHSEPP).

This state-wide policy addresses the shortage of affordable accommodation for people with housing needs not being met by the market by providing relaxed planning provisions. 

These provisions allow for smaller dwelling units in a denser arrangement that otherwise would not be permissible by the local council. The requirements for boundary setbacks, car parking, site coverage, landscaping etc. are less onerous for affordable housing designed under this policy.

There is currently great pressure to provide opportunities for types of housing which meet people’s needs at a lower cost. Smaller dwelling units allow for greater housing affordability as many people do not require houses with 3 or 4 bedrooms and a 2 car garage. 

By allowing for smaller dwellings and reduced car parking, the planning controls also enable sites to achieve a higher yield than conventional larger townhouses or apartments i.e. allows for a greater number of dwelling units.

A greater number of smaller dwellings results in a more economical development with a lower build cost per dwelling, addressing the affordable accommodation shortage.

Whilst working within the constraints of this policy or any other authority constraints, it is important that the quality of the design provides comfortable, attractive developments where a high standard of living is not compromised.

As Architects with extensive experience in various forms of residential design and knowledge of the authority regulations, we can assist clients with understanding the benefits of these specific provisions and whether this option is suitable to meet their needs.

We can also assist with information and advice to facilitate “affordable housing” more generally in terms of maximising the economy of construction, services arrangement planning layout and general Architectural design for any project.

Our blogs are a good source for reviewing various topics that relate to the issue of affordability in design and construction. You can learn how to achieve a spacious yet small home design, how to build on a budget and more.

For more information on our affordable housing services and experience, please get in touch with the team from Mark Lawler Architects. We can walk you through the building and design process from start to finish.

Recent Affordable Housing Projects

Crest Road Boarding House

The three storey boarding house includes 19 units each with their own Bathroom, Kitchenette and most with private Decks. The building has been designed to suit the irregular shaped block and height restrictions. The development provides affordable housing in a high demand location. Currently with Council awaiting DA approval.

Fairview St Communal Housing

Subdivision and new building to provide eight affordable boarding rooms in a high demand locality, in the Hunter Valley. Traditional materials and forms are critical to ensure the development integrates within the established residential neighbourhood.

Jesmond Boarding House

Affordable housing designed under the provisions of the NSQ Affordable Rental Housing SEPP. Twenty five self-contained studio units plus Manager's residence accommodated within a three level building that has been arranged to co-ordinate with a major flood drain running through the site. Currently with council for DA approval.