What is the Electronic Housing Code?
The Electronic Housing Code (EHC) is an online system for the end-to-end processing of complying development applications under the NSW Housing Code for lots that are 200m2 and above.
The EHC is designed for project home builders, certifiers, planners, builders, and developers; however members of the community can also use the system.
The aim of the EHC is to speed up planning decisions and reduce holding costs, helping to lower the cost of building homes.
How does the Electronic Housing Code work?
The EHC enables the end user to do the following:
- Investigate the exempt and complying development options available to them on an individual lot;
- Prepare a complying development application online with guidance as to the relevant documentation needed, and;
- Lodge a complying development application online;
- Generate an exempt or complying development report, and;
- Track their application.
It also provides a platform for the assessment and determination of these applications by Councils and Accredited (Private) Certifiers involved with the project.
What are the advantages of using the Electronic Housing Code?
The benefits for applicants using the EHC include:
- Faster planning approval times.
- An application process that is accessible twenty-four hours a day, seven days a week.
- No need to visit a Council for advice as the planning rules can be accessed online, and applications can be submitted electronically.
- Improved access to user-friendly information on the Housing Code, with the system generating an exempt or complying development report.
The benefits for Councils and Certifiers include all of the above plus:
- Decreased paper usage and required storage.
- Quality assurance measures to ensure data integrity and reduced time spent on incorrect or unnecessary applications.
- Improved consistency in the complying development application processes across the local government areas involved. This standardised process has reduced the administrative burden on industry to stay abreast of the different local government planning provisions.
A history of the Electronic Housing Code Project
The EHC pilot project began in 2009 when the Australian Government committed $30 million from the $512 million Housing Affordability Fund to develop IT infrastructure and software to implement electronic development assessment (eDA) systems nationally.
Subsequently, the Commonwealth Department of Families, Housing, Community Services and Indigenous Affairs (FaHCSIA) provided $5.92 million to the Department of Planning & Infrastructure to commence building the online system.
Following an Expression of Interest (EOI) process, stakeholder submissions were assessed against an advertised selection criterion and recommended by an independent selection panel. This resulted in 12 Councils and 10 Accredited (Private) Certifiers joining the project. One Council and 3 Certifiers later left the project due to resource constraints.
In July 2011, the Electronic Housing Code project management office (PMO) was awarded a further $4.33 million from the NSW Government to expand the project to include:
Up to an additional 24 NSW Councils; and
The processing of complying development applications under the NSW Commercial and Industrial Code.
The EHC was officially launched by the Minister for Planning & Infrastructure, the Honourable Brad Hazzard MP, on the 28th October 2011 at the site of the first complying development application to be lodged through the system, and moved from being a pilot to an ongoing project at the end of June 2012.
The EHC has continued to expand as part of the ePlanning program. As at 24 November 2014, 111 NSW Councils are participating, 64 of these NSW Councils are offering the system live to their communities; and 70 Private Certifiers are participating.
Private Accredited Certifiers interested in joining the project can do so via the quarterly expression of interest
Who is participating?
To view the list of NSW Councils and Private Certifiers participating in the EHC, please view
How do you access the system?
To access the EHC system, please go to www.electronichousingcode.com.au .
For more information, please contact the ePlanning team on phone (02) 8575 4053 or email firstname.lastname@example.org .