Interim Housing Policy Released
UPDATED: Added two new PDF’s on the Housing Accord
I have reacted very quickly and swiftly to it knowing what could be at stake in Southern Auckland while we grapple with the Southern Rural Urban Boundary. My response has been:
Nothing will change and it is a case of Much-Ado-About-Nothing for which this Government and Council seem to be famous now for and forever more.
In saying that I did note Special Housing Area (SHA) could apply to any area within the Draft Rural Urban Boundary. That is nice seeming the RUB has not be confirmed NOR RUB options even chosen yet for the South (there are three)
So would Council and Government like to tell us where these SHA’s might go in the South? Or won’t it for fear that releasing the wrong parcel of land would trigger the Weymouth-Karaka Bridge causing a very large backlash against Wellington and Auckland. Please note that South Auckland has both National and Labour Seats including some Ministers in current power – ooops. So both have everything to lose if the wrong SHA is kicked off
Your move Auckland Council
The NBR released a simple version of the befuddling press release from the Mayor’s Office about the Housing Accord:
Niko Kloeten | Friday May 10, 2013
Auckland mayor Len Brown and Housing Minister Dr Nick Smith have announced a new housing accord as a stop-gap measure until the unitary plan comes into effect in three years.
The accord is subject to agreement by Auckland Council’s governing body.
It proposes a streamlined consenting process for new housing developments. This process will be subject to the rules of the notified unitary plan, which will reflect feedback now being gathered from Aucklanders in the public engagement process.
The plan is due to be notified in September.
“It’s right that government and the council work together to address the immediate housing challenges facing Auckland,” Mr Brown says.
“This won’t solve all of our housing challenges, but it will ensure we work in a co-ordinated way with the government to enable more pace around home building and create options for affordable homes.
“My bottom line has always been that an agreement with the government on housing must be acceptable to Aucklanders and consistent with the balanced approach in our unitary plan.
“We are still engaging with Aucklanders on the draft plan, and final shape will reflect what we have heard from them over 10 weeks of public engagement.”
The accord is conditional on legislation allowing the council to indentify Special Housing Areas (SHAs) inside the proposed Rural Urban Boundary.
Parties can apply for “qualifying developments” within an SHA as long as they are predominantly residential, have capacity for 50 or more dwellings or vacant residential sites (in new greenfields areas), or at least five or more dwellings/vacant residential sites in brownfield areas.
They developments must be a maximum of six storeys or the height provisions in the notified unitary plan (whichever is lowest).
Special Housing Areas – within the Rural Urban Boundary. This means for example the Karaka Collective could ask for a Special Housing Area in Karaka North and Karaka West, present their plans (which I have some copies of), Council would say it is a qualifying development as it predominately residential and has capacity of over 50 dwellings/vacant resident sites in a Greenfield area, and so long as Mixed Housing and a Local or Town Centre was built within the new site there is nothing stopping Karaka North and West being developed as an SHA!
If this SHA example were to occur then the trigger point for the Karaka-Weymouth Bridge would be certainly reached (as mentioned by Council) and has then the maximum possibility of needing to be built!
As I also said in my Facebook reaction, Southern Auckland is still going through its Southern RUB options as mentioned here: “RUB DISCUSSIONS”
That particular post also has the RUB Addendum and Southern RUB options (yes the bridge is on there and it might as well stay on there now regardless on Council reaction, updates and policies towards it) which we of Southern Auckland are digesting at the moment.
So what to make of this Housing Accord and the Special Housing Area while the Unitary Plan and RUB is still being literally discussed is mind baffling. Auckland Council better come up with a very good explanation on how Special Housing Areas would work within the Southern RUB. Lest Council wants a pile of backlash from an already upset Southern Auckland to which I would point to the main spearhead from Auckland’s end – the vocal Councillor Dick Quax.
Councillor Quax can be reached via his emails for any questions on how the SHA might work within the Southern RUB.
Cr Dick Quax
P O Box 51-752
Again; Auckland Council better come up with a good explanation on how these Special Housing Areas might work before the RUB has been finalised (which is not for some way off)
This is the Housing Accord
Auckland Housing Accord Q&As
Auckland Housing Accord Factsheet