Affordable Housing

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

We have completed and are undertaking a number of developments under the NSW Housing SEPP.

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 that 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. Affordable housing is also aimed at people in the lower income bracket.

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. allow for a greater number of dwelling units. This gives greater incentive to Developers to build this much needed housing.

A greater number of smaller dwellings results in a more economical development with a lower build cost per dwelling, addressing the affordable accommodation shortage. This allows a site to be developed that would not be permissible under the standard housing controls.

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 authority regulations, we can assist clients with understanding the benefits of these specific provisions and whether this option suits their needs.

We can also assist with information and advice to facilitate “affordable housing” in more general terms such as economical construction, cladding materials, efficient planning services, arrangement planning layout and general Architectural design for any project.

Our blogs are a good source for reviewing various topics related to 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 contact the team from Mark Lawler Architects. We can walk you through the building and design process from start to finish.

We are proud to be undertaking the design of Class 3 buildings

A Class 3 building, as categorised by the Building Code of Australia, is a type of residential accommodation designed to house unrelated individuals, either for long-term or transient living.

This classification includes specific types of accommodation as identified under the Housing SEPP, including boarding houses, manor homes, infill affordable housing, group homes, backpackers’ accommodation or co-living housing. Each serves a unique purpose, from providing affordable lodging for travellers to offering specialised living arrangements.

These buildings must comply with specific standards and regulations to ensure the occupants’ safety, comfort, and well-being, addressing the diverse needs and requirements of the various types of accommodations included in this classification.

These developments usually also require to be managed by a Community Housing Provider. We can discuss with Client the options for managing either privately or with CHP.

Class 3 buildings that involve one dwelling above another must comply with the NSW Housing SEPP and the NSW Design & Building Practitioner’s Act.

At Mark Lawler Architects, our specialised expertise gives us a thorough understanding of the specific requirements of Class 3 housing types. Contact us to discuss your requirements and how we can assist with realising the potential for affordable housing.