Two years into the Housing Accord and the establishment of Auckland Council’s Housing Project Office, there is much to celebrate, but after reading the New Zealand Herald on 6 November you might not think that’s the case.
In the last two years alone, through the Housing Accord and Special Housing Areas Act (HASHAA), Auckland Council has released around 1700ha of land that would not have been able to be built on for several years without the SHAs.
Additionally, to date SHAs have enabled almost 50,000 homes to be built, which will, over time, make a significant impact on housing supply right across the Auckland region.
Ree Anderson, Housing Project Office Director, says developers are active in the SHAs and homes will be delivered faster because of them.
“In the usual development cycle, large developments similar to the scale in SHAs take around five years or more. To date SHAs have enabled almost 50,000 homes to be built, over time, and this will show up in figures for completed homes in the coming year,” says Ms Anderson.
The role of Auckland Council
She says that it’s also important that people understand council doesn’t build houses.
“What it does do is enable them to be built. In fact, under the Housing Accord signed with Government, the target is for Auckland Council to complete 39,000 consents for sites or dwellings. It is developers, not council, who do the building.”
During this earthworks season, which began on 1 October, Auckland Council expects to see around 1000ha of land in SHAs undergoing work in preparation for the building of new homes.
Timing is critical
But the issue of timing is crucial. “No matter which way we look at it, we need the proper checks and balances in place to ensure that a development is going to meet the quality of design required, that the proper infrastructure is available, and that the overall quality of builds will be high,” says Ms Anderson.
“A responsible council would not allow homes to just be built from day one with none of these checks or processes in place. Our focus on the first two years of the accord was putting that process in place, enabling the homes to be built. Now that the pipeline of homes is starting to come through, we will be ensuring the appropriate procedures are in place to capture the amount of homes being built within SHAs.
“We have always anticipated that construction of homes using the fast-track process would accelerate significantly in the coming year and beyond. Even with a much faster plan variation and consenting process, quality housing developments take time to build – but there is no doubt that the SHA process will deliver significantly more homes for Aucklanders earlier than would have been possible under the standard resource management processes.”
- 97 SHAs
- 47,000 potential SHA dwellings enabled
- 1700 hectares of land made available
- 12,000 homes in new greenfield areas undergoing rezoning and masterplanning
- 2000 consented homes in SHAs
- 39,000 the target for consented sites or dwellings over the course of the Housing Accord