New housing areas for Auckland

Auckland mayor Len Brown and Housing Minister Nick Smith have this afternoon announced a third tranche of "Special Housing Areas"for 18,000 new residences under the Auckland Housing Accord.

The announcement was made at a site at 11 Akepiro Street, Mt Eden, set to be developed into 18 units by Ockham Residential.

Big parts of Great North Rd, Otahu Coast, Flat Bush, New Lynn, Northcote, Albany East and Takanini are ear-marked as strategic areas, for big-scale redevelopment.

The Auckland Housing Accord, agreed to last year by Smith and Brown, provides for the creation of SHAs by Auckland Council with the approval of the Government.

Qualifying developments in these areas are able to be streamlined and fast-tracked but the areas are raising alarm in areas from Takapuna to Newmarket, as people suddenly realise their streets will change dramatically.

The wider agreement between the Government and the council aims to approve 39,000 new residences over a three-year period.

SHAs have already been approved in the Auckland suburbs of Newmarket, Takapuna and on the city's western and southern outskirts. Most of the approvals so far have been for townhouses and apartments on small plots, rather than stand-alone traditional housing on big sections.

This is in an attempt to keep prices down, as land prices and restrictions on urban zoning factors behind the over-heated Auckland's house market.

Brown said once SHA approval had been granted, it was up to the private sector to build the places.

Smith predicted the first places would be ready by the end of this year.

"Not all of the SHAs will deliver all of the housing within the three-year term of the accord - some projects may take up to 10 years to complete. That is why the council and Government will continue to work on many more SHAs, with the next tranche planned for August," Dr Smith said.

Brown said the latest batch of Special Housing Areas included seven strategic areas identified as having good transport links and access to other infrastructure.

"These are larger areas where we don't yet have developers with proposals, but where we are signalling to the market that we want to encourage growth," Brown said.

"In addition, many of the Special Housing Areas announced today are significantly larger than those in the first two tranches, and include 34 direct requests from private landowners or developers as well as extensions to three existing Special Housing Areas. I have every expectation of rapid development of these sites into new homes and sections," he predicted.


Special housing areas

First tranche: 11 areas, 6000 homes

Second tranche: 11 areas, 9500 homes.

Third tranche: 41 new areas, 18,000 houses

TOTAL: 63 areas, 33,500 homes

Target: 39,000 residences across Auckland


By Anne Gibson of the NZ Herald

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