If you ask the government (local, state or federal) they will call it a “secondary dwelling”. If you ask the public what that means you will get a blank stare. But ask the public what a Granny Flat is and you will get instant recognition.
The context of this article is based on these facts:
- There is a severe shortage of affordable rental housing in Australia.
- Housing affordability continues to rise in Australia making it one of the least affordable countries in the world now to purchase a home.
- Governments are recognising this.
A Granny Flat planning document was recently issued by the NSW Government. If you live in NSW and are considering building a Granny Flat on your property then it is well worth a read.
The document is titled: Supporting Affordable Rental Housing – Granny Flats (Secondary Dwellings) and can be downloaded through this link: NSW Govt Granny Flats 
The NSW Government are doing everything they can to make building a Granny Flat easier. They are providing a dedicated State Environmental Planning Policy (SEPP) to cover all local council areas.
In the past Granny Flats were only permitted by local councils under very strict and complicated local planning and environmental plans. The new policy is state based and is basically the state government saying to local government, “This is the way it is”. The NSW Government sees this as a logical (and some would say radical) plan towards boosting the supply of rental accommodation.
Owner Building a Granny Flat is a great option. There are 3 basic options:
- Convert part of your existing home into a Granny Flat.
- Build an extension onto your existing home and turn this into a Granny Flat.
- Build a new fully detached Granny Flat on your property.
Now there are still a few rules you need to consider and the government document is a good a summary. Bear in mind that not all states have undertaken the same initiative as the NSW Government in promoting the building of Granny Flats, so do some research.
If you need help in assessing how to build a Granny Flat on your existing property then give us a call. We’d be delighted to help.