Why did Council prepare a Housing Strategy?

    The Lake Macquarie Housing Strategy will deliver the housing directions and actions of the the Local Strategic Planning Statement. The Strategy will help deliver the Department of Planning and Environment’s Greater Newcastle Metropolitan Plan target of 60 per cent infill and 40 per cent greenfield for new housing development. The Housing Strategy will also implement the recommendations of the Lake Macquarie Housing Study.

    Our population is growing and how people want to live is changing. Currently, our housing stock is not diverse, with standard residential detached housing comprising 85 per cent of our total stock. There are shifting preferences for alternatives such as small lot housing, apartment and townhouse living. We need to act strategically and put policies in place now to enable and encourage a diverse mix of housing types for the future. The community needs a housing market that provides the right homes for their needs, preferences and that is affordable and delivers quality housing in centres and neighbourhoods across Lake Macquarie.  In particular, it will address the housing market gap for smaller dwellings and low rise medium density housing.

    What will the Housing Strategy do?

    The Housing Strategy aims to deliver housing supply close to services, facilities and infrastructure to meet our growing population needs. The Strategy seeks to provide affordable and sustainable housing and a diverse mix of housing developments.

    It will include actions to ensure planning controls help facilitate this growth. This may include changes to Council’s Local Environmental Plan, Development Control Plan and other development application process changes. 

    What is the current supply and forecasted demand for housing in Lake Macquarie?

    The population of Lake Macquarie is expected to grow from 202,850 in 2016 to 226,750 by 2036 and up to 250,000 by 2050. Population growth from 2016 to 2036 is outlined in the Lake Macquarie Population, Demographic and Housing Forecast Modelling Report. There may also be potential for increased growth pushing outwards from Sydney. We plan to invest in the area to make this a more desirable place to live, which means we may need to plan for an even greater population as more people choose to reside here. 

    In addition to this, household size is shrinking, meaning that each dwelling has fewer people, resulting in a further need for housing and a growing demand for more diverse housing types to meet the community’s needs.

    The Housing Supply Potentials Report investigates housing supply within residential and commercially-zoned areas to accommodate the city’s projected population and the need for an additional 29,082 dwellings by 2050. This report identifies the existing supply capacity of 16,866 dwellings in greenfield areas and an additional 16,174 to 34,918 infill dwelling potential based on low to high infill supply scenarios. In total, there is a supply capacity of 33,042 to 51, 784 additional dwelling capacity by 2050., which is above the demand levels based on an increase of 50,000 people. Close monitoring and action is needed should our population grow at higher rate.

    Where is the growth in housing likely to go?

    The Local Housing Strategy will deliver both greenfield and infill housing. A key focus of the Local Housing Strategy will be facilitating growth of infill housing in our existing centres in line with the target of 60 per cent infill housing of the draft Greater Newcastle Metropolitan Plan. The accompanying map shows where this development is likely to occur in the area.

    How has Council consulted with developers, industry and agencies?

    Council surveyed these stakeholders to identify barriers and potential solutions for housing supply.  The results of this engagement were incorporated into the Strategy. We will continue to work with and explore housing solutions with these interest groups as we implement and deliver the Strategy.

    How has Council consulted with the community?

    Council has conducted extensive consultation with the community during the preparation of its Community Vision and Values, Community Strategic Plan and Imagine Lake Mac.

    Additionally, Council consulted with the following stakeholders when preparing the Housing Strategy through:

    • a survey on barriers with the development and housing industry,
    • discussions with the UDIA, Property Council, and community housing providers,
    • a housing preference survey involving 400 Lake Macquarie residents, 
    • engaging with approximately 120 people at the Living Smart Festival, and
    • 109 submissions during the exhibition of the Housing Strategy.

    Council has received vast feedback in over the past two years about housing issues affecting the area. Council will continue to consult with the community during the implementation of the Housing Strategy.

    How will we know the Housing Strategy is on track?

    The Housing Strategy includes an implementation and delivery plan.  This sets out how the mechanisms to deliver the priorities will be operationalised.  This Strategy identifes the actions and timeframes for amending the LEP, DCP or other Council documents and procedures to improve the delivery of housing.

    What are the next steps?

    Council adopted the Housing Strategy on 14 April 2020. A revised version, addressing specific needs for accessible housing was adopted on 26 April 2021. Council is now implementing the Housing Strategy and will continue to consult with the community and housing industry during implementation.