Delivering diverse and affordable infill housing development (Investigative Panel)


This Investigative Panel explored barriers and solutions to infill housing in two capital cities as a means of increasing supply of affordable housing.

Project Number: 80649
Research Theme(s): Housing affordability, Urban planning and development
Project Leader: Rowley, Steven
Funding Year: 2011
Research Centre: Western Australia

Published research reports

Download now Final Report: No. 193: Delivering diverse and affordable housing on infill development sites
1MB PDF Document


Sydney and Perth were chosen as case study cities because they have experienced different success in delivering medium and high-density housing on infill sites.

The panel argued that the only way affordable housing will be supplied in infill locations is through agreements within the development approval process, or through partnerships on the back of land transfers; both of which require policy intervention. However, other interventions encouraging developers to provide different types of product (i.e. smaller lot sizes & houses) can still deliver a lower-priced product to the market where demand is greatest—below $400 000.

The panel made 40 suggestions for improvements at various stages of the development process including:

  • Incentivising private sector development of affordable housing through either density bonuses (with incentives targeted at the developer and not inadvertently passed to the landowner in the form of land value uplift) or inclusionary zoning, provided issues of delay and complications of ownership can be surmounted.
  • Fostering partnerships between the private sector, public sector and community housing organisations, with the aim of assembling sites on public sector land in order to maximise contributions.
  • Making the development approval process more certain, more efficient and less costly.
  • Encouraging banks to be more flexible in their lending practices, enabling infill development by smaller developers (developing smaller lot sizes & houses) and increasing the pool of available investors.
  • Addressing construction costs (particularly labour) and encouraging smaller-scale projects whilst increasing skills and flexibility in the workforce, enabling delivery of multiple project types.

AHURI events involving this project