Lobby group pushes for a boost to central housing
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.