Constellation Project releases mandatory inclusionary zoning framework

The Constellation Project have released their proposed national framework for a Mandatory Inclusionary Zoning (MIZ) policy to increase the supply of social and affordable housing across Australia.

MIZ policies ensure that a certain percentage of social and affordable housing is included in new housing projects in metropolitan areas. The national framework proposed by the Constellation Project provides guidance on the roles and responsibilities of the different levels of government and outlines the mechanisms through which an MIZ could be regulated within the Australian planning system.

National Framework

Specifically, the national framework calls for:

  • A minimum 10 per cent of housing floorspace (or commensurate land/cash) developed on privately owned land in metropolitan areas should be designated, in perpetuity, as social and affordable rental housing. A higher percentage should be sought on government-led development sites.
  • The MIZ requirement should be a stated condition of a Development Approval (DA).
  • MIZ policy should apply to all residential development with more than one dwelling.
  • Affordable dwellings should be managed by CHPs who would register with an appropriate state agency to be a recipient of MIZ properties/funding.
  • Local governments to develop local housing strategies within twelve months of MIZ legislation being enacted to determine the specific proportions of social and affordable housing products in the local area.

The Constellation Project

The Constellation Project is an alliance of organisations, including the Australian Red Cross, the Centre for Social Impact, PwC, and Mission Australia, who have joined forces to drive action on ending homelessness. Their work provides valuable guidance to policy makers seeking to address housing insecurity and homelessness.

The national framework can be found here.

The WA Government currently has affordable housing provisions for government-led projects as outlined in the MRA Development Policy 9: Affordable and Diverse Housing, however, this does not apply to major or minor private development across the state. Other planning mechanisms to increase affordable housing include planning concessions, density bonuses, and negotiated voluntary planning agreements.  These, along with the development of local housing strategies, provide an opportunity for local governments, given their key role in assessing development and managing change and growth, to facilitate more social and affordable housing supply.

Shelter WA looks forward to further discussing the potential of MIZ with government and industry as a tool to facilitate more social and affordable supply in WA.