Proposed Auckland Unitary Plan
The Proposed Auckland Unitary Plan (PAUP) highlights housing and the creation of better urban environments as two of its top strategic initiatives.
The Unitary Plan states that ‘Housing all Aucklanders in secure, healthy homes they can afford’ is one of its prime objectives. This fits well with CORT’s vision statement of ‘Good homes for all’.
The Auckland Council vision statement sets out four housing priorities:
- Increase housing supply to meet demand.
- Increase housing choice to meet diverse preferences and need.
- Increase the quality of existing and new housing.
- Improve housing affordability and the supply of affordable housing.
‘A secure, stable home is the hub of family life and provides a foundation for building strong communities and financial security for families. An adequate supply of quality, affordable housing, is a core requirement for society and the economy to function, and provide a good quality of life for everyone.’ The Proposed Auckland Unitary Plan, Chapter 11 Housing, p. 269, para 604
CORT was initially encouraged by the emphasis and direction given to affordable housing in the Auckland Plan. Council policy has a significant effect on the use and value of land within its jurisdiction. The use and value of land along with building regulatory requirements, the cost of the consent process, utility and development contributions all have a major effect on the affordability of housing.
Currently under the old zoning regime it is virtually impossible to build affordable one and two-bedroom units in Auckland. Restrictive zoning legislation and discriminatory development contribution levels make it too expensive. The new Unitary Plan was initially promoted to address these issues. However, it appears in its early stages to have been diluted and it will now be used to exclude affordable one and two-bedroom developments from the majority of land available in suburban areas. Development contributions demanded by the council are also loaded against the development of medium-density one-bedroom units with a mere 20% reduction on the standard rate charged for much larger stand-alone three, four and five-bedroom houses.
CORT Community Housing has been involved in the submission process of the Unitary Plan and will continue to argue for the rights of people on low incomes to be able to live and participate in all areas of Auckland’s community. We are working with the Auckland Council through the Auckland Community Housing Providers Network (ACHPN) to make the necessary changes to facilitate more affordable housing being built in Auckland.