Inclusionary Zoning

National Shelter has released an Australia wide report and survey results outlining the critical role of inclusionary zoning as a tool to facilitate the supply of affordable housing.

At a macro level, the survey results show that the most important housing type to be considered in inclusionary zoning is social housing. It must also include options for affordable rental housing.

Inclusionary zoning is a planning mechanism that mandates a percentage of new development as affordable, both for ownership or rental. In Western Australia two key development agencies, the Metropolitan Redevelopment Authority and Landcorp, both have policies around inclusionary zoning. However, the use of inclusionary zoning is not mandated or widely used by State or local governments.

“The current density debate in Perth needs to re-focus on the positive impact more diverse, affordable housing choice delivers for people, local business and local communities,” said Michelle Mackenzie, CEO of Shelter WA. “This debate needs to be reframed to how inclusionary zoning can deliver greater affordable housing choices that respond to where and how people need to live.”

At a national level 81 per cent of respondents agreed that incentives such as planning concessions are needed to increase the supply of social and affordable housing. “Urban planning is about creating good outcomes for communities. With the right incentives, inclusionary zoning is an option with the potential to significantly increase the supply of diverse affordable housing in suitable locations,” said Ms Mackenzie.

The provision of more diverse and affordable housing is not just the responsibility of the State, but needs local government, local communities, the community sector and industry to work together. The State’s Planning Reform agenda provides a new opportunity in WA to utilise inclusionary zoning to deliver the diverse housing choice our communities need. Everyone has a right to a place to call home. We should better harness our planning system to deliver housing outcomes for all.