Boarding houses


The State Government in 2009 introduced the Affordable Rental Housing SEPP, which allows Boarding Houses to be constructed in all residential zones, that is R2 low-density, R3 medium-density and R4 high-density residential. The only criteria for a boarding house to be allowed in a R2 low-density zone, where only single dwellings and dual-occupancies are permitted, is the subject site must be within 400m walking distance to a bus stop, used by a regular bus service or 800m to a train station.

The whole of the Kogarah Bay Ward, where R2 zoning applies would be within 400m of a bus stop or 800m to a train station. In other words, every dwelling in the R2 zone can be subject to having a boarding house built next-door under the current SEPP.

As a result, Boarding Houses are the new trend for developers, a new opportunity to maximize profits. With the oversupply of apartments and many failing to sell, developers are seeking another way.

Since the beginning of 2018, there have been five Development Applications in Kogarah alone, for boarding houses.

Cramming many tiny dwellings in tall buildings with no land around is the new ‘cash cow’ for developers.

Below is a summary of boarding house development applications in Kogarah in 2018;

  • 3 Gray St, Kogarah – six stories and 44 rooms

  • 14 English St, Kogarah – seven stories and 40 rooms (a local residents wrote this submission to Georges River Council objecting to this Development Application).

  • 31 Regent St, Kogarah – four floors plus roof (rooms unknown)

  • 48 Gray St, Kogarah – 22 rooms

  • 69 Gray St, Kogarah – five floors and 43 rooms, accommodating 77 residents

  • 46-48 Princes Highway (already approved by Kogarah Council) – five floors and 49 rooms plus managers room, accommodating 75 residents

The SEPP currently only requires 0.5 parking spaces per room. This will mean another 350-450 persons approx, living in our area, just in 6 new boarding houses.

As we all know, there are hundreds of new apartments being built, many of them already sold off-plan. This will further result in a massive increase in demands on ALL services. With limited access to private open space, residents of boarding houses will increase the need for council to provide public open space. The roads, trains, schools, hospitals, all of our infrastructure will be massively impacted. Currently there is no Section 94 contribution monies required to be paid by boarding house developers for open space contributions, as per the requirement for home units.

current status

The NSW Government are proposing changes to the Draft amendment to the Affordable Rental Housing SEPP.  The Proposed Changes are:-

Boarding houses will now be limited to 12 boarding rooms per site within the R2 Low Density Residential zone to better reflect the surrounding area and community

The Leader recently published this article on the matter.

required action

The amendments will be on exhibition for three weeks from 28 November 2018 until 19 December 2018.

You are encouraged to make a submission. See Kogarah Bay Progress Association’s submission for reference to write your own submission.

Make an online submission,

  • Or write to:
    Director, Housing Policy
    Department of Planning and Environment
    GPO Box 39
    Sydney NSW 2001

Join the Kogarah Bay Progress Association and help fight for the interests of local residents on these important issues.
— Kogarah Bay Progress Association Inc