State Environmental Planning Policy (Affordable Rental Housing) 2009 (AHSEPP) was introduced to increase the supply and diversity of certain housing typologies in NSW, including group homes.
A ‘group home’ is like any other dwelling when you look at it from the street. In other words it usually will have the appearance of a typical suburban house. Group homes can be located in virtually all residential zones in NSW. People who occupy group homes are those that may struggle to find accommodation that suits their needs, for example people with a disability, or people that are socially disadvantaged. Group homes may provide temporary or permanent accommodation for these people.
A group home may be approved in 10 days by a council or an accredited certifier provided it is able to meet specific provisions as outlined in the AHSEPP. This development pathway is known as the ‘complying development’ route. If a group home proposal does not meet the provisions in the AHSEPP, then a development application must be lodged with the local council. The council will then make an assessment of the proposal in accordance with the AHSEPP and any relevant council policies, as well as on its own merits.