Waverly Affordable Housing Program

Located within Sydney’s inner metropolitan area, Waverley Council was one of the first areas to experience
major pressures to maintain existing and deliver new, affordable housing.

During the 1990s, in cooperation with Berkhout Planning and Development, HillPDA pioneered a new and innovative approach to overcome this pressure. The Team demonstrated how, from an economic perspective, Council could both protect existing affordable housing and work with the private sector to deliver new affordable housing.

HillPDA’s advice included recommendations on how to improve the effectiveness of existing planning mechanisms that were relied upon to deliver affordable housing. An important element was ensuring the mechanisms could be easily understood and consequently would be widely used.

We also developed management procedures for Waverley’s Affordable Housing Program, identifying ways community housing organisations could self-finance the delivery of affordable housing, with the roles of the Council and developers clearly defined.

HillPDA’s bespoke ‘Affordable Housing Calculator’ was developed as part of this work. It provided Council with a user-friendly tool intended to quantify the developer incentives required to stimulate the delivery of new affordable housing.

Much of the groundbreaking research used to inform the Waverley’s Affordable Housing Program has subsequently been translated into broader government policies and planning instruments, helping to deliver affordable housing in key developments across Sydney, including City West (Ultimo and Pyrmont) and Green Square. This is a particularly rewarding outcome for HillPDA.