Lobby group pushes for a boost to cen­tral hous­ing

Auckland City Harbour News - - NEWS - By JESS ETHERIDGE

Auck­land is set to get more fast-tracked hous­ing and one po­lit­i­cal youth group is lob­by­ing for more cen­tral sub­urbs to be put on the list.

A fourth set of spe­cial hous­ing ar­eas ( SHA) is set to be an­nounced by the Govern­ment and Auck­land Coun­cil next month.

SHAs al­low a much faster pro­cess­ing of re­source con­sents with the aim of speed­ing up the build­ing process of pri­vate and govern­ment-owned homes.

Dr Sud­hvir Singh of Gen­er­a­tion Zero says a lack of hous­ing den­sity op­tions is putting pres­sure on the mar­ket.

The first two SHAs were con­cen­trated out­side Auck- land’s ur­ban lim­its in sub­urbs in­clud­ing Hob­sonville, Wey­mouth, Pukekohe and Sil­verdale.

Singh hopes the fourth an­nounce­ment will fo­cus on the in­ner cen­tres.

‘‘Auck­lan­ders are cry­ing out for more choices close to where they work,’’ he says.

‘‘De­mo­graph­ics are chang­ing, more cou­ples liv­ing with­out chil­dren, liv­ing alone, and those kinds of house­holds don’t nec­es­sar­ily need a big property with a big back­yard,’’ Singh says.

‘‘So at that stage of your life hav­ing a smaller property, if it’s lo­cated con­ve­nient to where you need to be, is ac­tu­ally de­sir­able and we think that’s the ma­jor sup­ply short­age in Auck­land, not just num­bers but where the houses are.’’

Hous­ing New Zealand sites in Mt Al­bert, Mt Roskill, Grey Lynn, One Tree Hill and Water­view were selected for de­vel­op­ment un­der the third SHA an­nounced in May.

The May an­nounce­ment brought Auck­land’s to­tal to 63 SHAs across the re­gion which will mean 33,500 new homes.

Singh says trans­port costs be­come more ex­pen­sive as the pop­u­la­tion sprawls out­ward.

The cen­tral city is full of ‘‘poorly de­signed’’ high-rises, he says.

Auck­land needs more medium-den­sity op­tions such as high-rises be­tween three and six storeys.

Morn­ing­side and Mt Al­bert are two lo­ca­tions with ameni- ties and ca­pac­ity for up to six storeys, Singh says.

Al­bert-Eden Lo­cal Board chair­man Peter Haynes says the north­ern part of Morn­ing­side, around Don Croot St, is seen as suit­able for de­vel­op­ment.

‘‘How­ever the board is op­posed to moves to fast-track what is al­ready a fast-track process, and re­move the last ves­tiges of com­mu­nity over­sight.’’

Haynes says plan­ners may have dif­fer­ent pri­or­i­ties and do not take into ac­count the views of the com­mu­nity.

Schools are burst­ing at the seams and a lack of open space means the area ‘‘can’t han­dle more in­ten­si­fi­ca­tion un­til these prob­lems are ad­dressed’’, he says.

Push­ing ahead: Gen­er­a­tion Zero, led by Dr Sud­hvir Singh, is push­ing for more medium-den­sity hous­ing in cen­tral sub­urbs such as Morn­ing­side and Mt Al­bert.

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