What is the draft Mosman Local Housing Strategy? Why have we prepared it?

    The draft Mosman Local Housing Strategy is a plan for housing Mosman’s population from now to 2036. It considers projected population change and housing demand, and how housing growth is to be managed including the right locations for additional housing.

    It is a requirement of the NSW Government’s Greater Sydney Region Plan, A Metropolis of Three Cities, 2018, and district plans, that all councils prepare a local housing strategy which provides a locally relevant response to meeting the growing demand for housing in Sydney. Forecasts are that Greater Sydney’s population will increase from 4.7 million (in 2016) to 6.4 million people by 2036, with an additional 725,000 dwellings required to meet demand. Government advice is that whilst the impact of COVID-19 on NSW's population and economy remains unclear, it is committed to a long-term vision for the housing market.

    It is important that we have a housing strategy to:

    • Enable Council to proactively manage the projected increase in local population over the next 20 years;
    • Set out a planning framework to meet anticipated housing demand in a considered manner; and
    • Identify the particular housing issues and needs of the Mosman population. 

    How is Mosman's population changing?

    As at the 2016 Census, Mosman had an estimated residential population of 30,260 people. Projections are that growth in Mosman over the next 20 years will be modest compared with other areas in Greater Sydney, with an additional 1,370 people living in Mosman by 2041, and an overall population of 31,630 people. The profile of the population is anticipated to change with an increasing proportion of older residents and more people living alone.

    What housing does Mosman have, and what demand is anticipated?

    There are currently 13,220 private dwellings in Mosman (2016 Census figures), and over 65% of this housing stock is medium to high density. This is a much higher proportion than the Greater Sydney average of 44%. Intensive development during the late 1800s and early 1900s established the pattern of subdivision and estate development which characterises Mosman today. Mosman’s housing includes a mix of attached dwellings on small allotments, detached dwellings on larger allotments on the foreshore slopes, and multi-unit housing in residential areas and within business centres.

    Based on the projected population and changing household composition, estimates are that there will be the demand for up to 1,358 additional dwellings in Mosman by 2041. There is no surplus land in Mosman, and all housing growth will be the form of infill development, for example, demolition of several houses to make way for a residential flat building or terraces. Currently, 90% of all additional housing in Mosman is multi-unit housing. Given Mosman's ageing population, housing will need to be adaptable to meet the needs of older residents.

    What are NSW Government housing supply targets?

    The NSW Government has set housing supply targets for all Districts across Greater Sydney to accommodate future population growth. 

    Mosman is located within the North District, along with Hornsby, Hunter’s Hill, Ku-ring-gai, Lane Cove, North Sydney, Northern Beaches, Ryde and Willoughby local government areas. The North District's housing supply target of 92,000 additional dwellings over 20 years is modest compared to many parts of Greater Sydney. Additional housing supply is anticipated to largely occur in areas close to employment centres, railway stations and in planned precincts with significant infrastructure investment, such as around Macquarie Park, Hornsby and St Leonards. Mosman is not an area earmarked by the NSW Government as being subject to a high level of growth and change, reflecting the geography, infrastructure capacity and constraints of the area. 

    The tables below identify housing supply targets within each District, and for each local government area within the North District. Mosman’s target is 300 dwellings for the 0-5 year period, and will likely be similar for the next 6-10 year period.

    Where will additional housing be located? Will land be rezoned?

    Additional housing will be focussed within the existing medium density zones in Mosman, that is, within land that is zoned R3 Medium Density Residential, B1 Neighbourhood Centre, B2 Local Centre and B6 Enterprise Corridor under Mosman Local Environmental Plan 2012. 

    Housing capacity modelling indicates that there is the capacity for 1,886 additional dwellings to realistically be built within these existing zones. With ample available capacity and low projected demand for housing, rezoning land to provide for additional housing opportunities is not necessary at this time. This will continue to be monitored to ensure that demand is met. 

    What key issues are identified in meeting future housing needs?

    Given Mosman’s ageing population, it is important that housing meets the needs of older residents. Housing diversity facilitated by Mosman Local Environmental Plan 2012 will be maintained to enable residents to downsize to smaller, low-maintenance accommodation if desired. Council will review planning controls for adaptable housing and universal design in Mosman’s Developments Control Plans to ensure they reflect best practice to support ageing in place, and consider options to facilitate the uptake of adaptable design in new and existing housing stock.

    The draft Strategy identifies the need to collaborate with key stakeholders to further consider options relevant in Mosman to respond to housing affordability. In Mosman, more households are in housing stress than compared with the Greater Sydney average, and only a small proportion of rental housing stock is affordable for very low and low income households. The cost of housing is an issue throughout Greater Sydney.

    Good design, local character and resident amenity are important considerations in the delivery of additional housing stock, particularly in Mosman where all additional housing is infill development in established neighbourhoods. Scale, design, views, trees and heritage are key elements of Mosman's character. A review of these planning controls to consider their adequacy is identified.

    What happens next?

    Following public exhibition, a report will be prepared and be considered at a Council Meeting to be held later in 2020. The report will address any submissions received and seek Council’s endorsement of the draft Mosman Local Housing Strategy. It would then need to be submitted to the NSW Government for approval. The document will be subject to a 10-year review with 5-yearly reviews of the evidence base and housing stock, and annual monitoring of housing delivery and supply.

    You can keep up-to-date with the progress of the housing strategy by registering to receive Council's Urban Planning e-newsletter, and reading blog posts on our Mosman Planning website.