Housing Affordability Initiatives

Housing models research

We are undertaking research into affordable housing models being used nationally and internationally, to support our community's housing needs.

Echelon Planning has a proven track record of innovative research relating to housing models and how affordable options can be delivered on the ground. They have been engaged to deliver two research papers:

  • The Alternative Housing Models research paper(PDF, 9MB) sets out a summary of our Shire's key housing needs and an analysis of alternate housing models, such as co-operative housing, rent to buy, and others aimed at making housing more affordable.  It examines how these might be adapted for a Byron Shire context.
  • The second part of work will focus on the possible application of some of these models to specific sites within our Shire, and will assess the economic feasibility of the models and how to get the best outcomes from the sites. This piece of research will be looking specifically at the Mullumbimby Hospital Site and several other sites in the Shire.

Residential Strategy and SEPP 70 Affordable housing contribution scheme

A planning proposal is under preparation for an affordable housing contribution scheme under State Environmental Planning Policy No 70 Affordable Housing (Revised Schemes). 

Contribution schemes apply to developments that are facilitated by up-zoning. As part of the preparation of the scheme it is necessary to identify areas for future rezoning. The draft Byron Shire Residential Strategy identifies new release residential areas with potential for future rezoning.  A single contribution scheme may apply to multiple areas within a local government area, as long as the feasibility analysis supporting each area specifically addresses each one.

Council resolved to support consideration of the Residential Strategy's new release investigation lands for inclusion under the SEPP 70 Affordable housing contribution scheme. 

Lot 22 Stuart Street, Mullumbimby

Council is proposing to rezone and reclassify, from community land to operational land, part of Council-owned Lot 22 DP 1073165, Stuart Street, Mullumbimby to provide for additional residential development.

Provisions to encourage diverse and affordable housing on key sites will be included in Council's planning controls.

A draft Planning Proposal has been granted gateway determination by the Department of Planning and Environment with a submissions report of its exhibition reported to Council at the 11 April 2019 Planning Meeting. Council resolved to prepare a further flood study and a structure plan for Lot 22 and the three surrounding properties that make up the Saltwater Creek Precinct (Our Mullumbimby Masterplan) and to consider the future of the Planning Proposal once the studies have been completed. 

Find out more

Expressions of Interest for Affordable Housing

In 2017 Council called for Expressions of Interest (EOI) to invite landowners to submit affordable housing proposals for land in Byron Shire.

Council considered the private land EOIs and resolved to proceed with some EOIs. Any further work to establish their feasibility will be in line with Council's adopted Supporting Partnerships Policy. The draft Residential Strategy provides further guidance for sites in Mullumbimby and Bangalow.

Our Housing Challenge: Local Communities: Local Solutions:  Byron Perspective - 10 May 2019

Three of Australia’s experts in the field of affordable and social housing headlined the Council forum Our Housing Challenge:  Local Communities, Local Solutions – a Byron Perspective held on the 10 May 2019 in Byron Bay.

Peter Mares (author of No Place Like Home:  Repairing Australia’s housing crisis), Tim Riley (Founder – Property Collectives) and Dr Kathleen Flanagan (Deputy Director of Housing and Community Research, University of Tasmania) addressed the forum providing their insight into housing affordability.

The Forum was recorded by BayFM. To listen to the presentations click on the link below.

Listen to Our Housing Challenge


Housing Charrette, November 2018

To agree on policy directions for delivering land and housing for a sustainable future, we held a charrette with community representatives and State Government agencies. The findings of the charrette(PDF, 472KB) helped inform the draft Residential Strategy. 

Byron Housing Roundtable, 5 July 2018

Council convened the Byron Housing Roundtable as a followup to the successful Byron Housing Summit held in 2017. The purpose of the Roundtable was to discuss where Byron Shire is now 18 months on from the Summit, and where does it need to be to further support and deliver affordable housing outcomes for the community.

The Roundtable was arranged around themes to look at the following areas:  

  • Housing types and models
  • Tenure types and security
  • Planning enablers and barriers
  • Finance and investment models

 We continue to progress work on the four key actions agreed on the day to address housing needs in the Shire:

  1. Legal / governance - Structures
  2. Development opportunities
  3. Planning/policy reforms
  4. Communication/education 


Housing Summit, 10 February 2017

Byron Shire is a prosperous area for some, but there are people who are at risk of homelessness or looking at a future that does not include home ownership. This summit was designed to shine the spotlight on the unique challenges in the affordable housing sector.

The Housing Summit bought together stakeholders from government, housing providers, private industry and community to look at current policies, development practices and programs for housing and to look at what could be done differently to improve the availability and supply of housing in Byron.

See the Storyboard Sketches(PDF, 8MB) for an overview of the Housing Summit topics.


    by Prof Hal Pawson (Associate Director, City Futures) 

     by Adam Bennett-Smith (Director, Koho)

    by John McKenna (CEO, North Coast Community Housing) 

    by Hanna Ebling (Social Enterprise Finance Australia) 

     by Barbara Squires (Director, Barbara Squires Consulting)

     by Graham Marshal & Mike Myers (National Affordable Housing Consortium)

     Watch the presentation by Kelvin Daly (Bruns Eco Village) 

     Watch the presentation by Gary White (NSW Government) 

     Watch the presentation by Wendy Hayhurst (NSW Federation of Housing Associations)

     by Jessie Hochberg - Nightingale

For more information read the Housing Summit issues action plan Report 13.16 presented to Council on 22 June 2017, resulting in Resolution 17-260.