“Missing Middle” housing typologies are well overdue

Media Release: 16 March 2020 – The Urban Development Institute of Australia (UDIA) NSW today commends NSW Planning Minister Rob Stokes’ clear message to get on with the job and let the industry build for the “missing middle”. Minister Stokes has committed to 1 July deadline for any deferred planning proposals.

“Apartment approvals have fallen drastically and the ‘missing middle’ typologies are needed immediately to cater to both young families and our ageing population,” said chief executive Steve Mann.

The Sydney-based apartment stock will imminently dive off a supply cliff with apartment approvals down over 50 per cent from the peak.


Source: ABS; UDIA NSW 2019

“With an ageing population, low rise-medium density provides a greater opportunity to age in place, and provides an affordable option for those who moved into the ‘garden suburbs’ to remain near friends and neighbours,” said Mr Mann.

“The ‘missing middle’ also opens up more options for those seeking to start families using older stock in established suburbs, as well as renewal opportunities, which might provide homes for first homebuyers,” he said.

Councils have had five years to prepare for the ‘missing middle’ and yet 24 Councils have not pursued planning proposals, or they have pursued planning proposals to disallow low-rise housing.
“The medium-density code is a great piece of public policy to cater to the changing demographics of our society. Councils were given generous deadline by the Department, but now is time for decisive action,” said Mr Mann.

Around the country, other jurisdictions have allowed for a range of innovative housing typologies, including ‘micro housing’ in WA and the Gold Coast.

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Media contact: Mia Kwok 0435 361 697 media@udiansw.com.au