Four new Special Housing Areas have been announced for Auckland, bringing the total throughout the country to 100. These new areas will allow for a total of 145 new homes within the suburbs of East Tamaki, Beach Haven, Three Kings Quarry and Woodhill. Special Housing Areas were established to fast track some of the processes involved with building new homes in order to help ease the housing shortage.
Housing Minister Nick Smith says that even though the process is now faster thanks to the SHA, it is not a quick fix solution. “The subdivisions and houses will need to be designed, consented and built, but the land-zoning process which otherwise would have taken an average of three years is now being completed in a matter of weeks.”
Poor results for Auckland Housing Accord
While there have been new areas of land freed up for the building of new subdivisions and homes, there has been little to see in the way of new construction projects. With the Auckland Housing Accord having stated that 39,000 new homes will be consented for within three years to help relieve the housing shortage in Auckland, only 20 have been built as a result of the accord within SHAs.
Even though Auckland Council has said that work is progressing on the new properties through planning, earthworks or the consent process, Labour’s housing spokesperson Phil Twyford has accused developers and land bankers are sitting on their hands enjoying the rise in the price of their land and with no incentive to build upon it.
The Auckland Housing Accord works towards speeding up the consent process for new homes within the region, but stipulates that at least 5-10% of the homes built must be affordable. With guidelines saying that to be affordable, the homes must be no more than 75% of the Auckland regions REINZ median house price, it is hoped that home ownership will be within the grasp of many more people.