18:4 Housing Solution. Is it a solution?

Better use of land a good way to get on top of housing supply in Auckland


Recently a presentation was given where four houses (especially large Housing New Zealand  single homes on large plots of urban land) could be turned into 18 warm and dry homes which is something Auckland sorely needs with its population growth continuing to boom


From the 18:4 Housing Solution Presentation

A real solution to Auckland’s housing crisis

Building homes you can afford in places you need to be

We all know the answer to Auckland’s housing crisis – build more homes that people can afford. But there’s more to it than that. We need to build homes where people want to live: in their current communities and close to their place of work.

Auckland’s population has risen by about 90,000 in the past couple of years. That’s equal to the population of Invercargill and Whanganui combined. And with the average house price in Auckland now close to a million dollars, and the average rent over $500 per week, finding safe, dry, affordable housing is proving difficult for Aucklanders from all walks of life.

Auckland Community Housing Providers’ Network (ACHPN) have created a solution that ticks all the boxes. ‘18 for 4’ is a new campaign, a driving force to enable people of all demographics to keep calling Auckland home.

Why the name? Each building project will involve transforming four houses (likely Housing NZ stock) in existing communities into 18 homes for all kinds of people, from those on low incomes through to those wanting to get onto the property market.

This opens up locations across the city – rather than forcing new build projects to stay on the periphery of Auckland’s outermost suburbs. People can live near their work, near their children’s school, and near their family and community.

There’s more number crunching in the project beyond the name itself. Every new 18 for 4 development will incorporate:

  • Eight homes for social housing to address the issues of homelessness and overcrowding
  • Six homes for assisted homeownership, including rent to buy and shared equity to help young families into homeownership
  • Four homes for ‘normal’ private sale, with profits going back into more community housing

These houses will be one, two and three bedroom homes, in well-designed, medium density developments.

“It’s a no brainer,” says Peter Jeffries, CEO of CORT Community Housing and 18 for 4 spokesperson. “The Government, through Housing New Zealand, own 27,537 homes in Auckland. They are the largest property owner in the city and have several sites where community housing providers can build quality, affordable housing close to public transport and people’s places of work.

“Community housing is about developing community-based solutions to address housing issues and providing affordable, healthy, quality housing choices across the housing continuum.

“The community housing sector has a proven track record with Waimahia Inlet and other projects and are a safe pair of hands – we’re regulated beyond state or private landlords to be ‘good landlords’ and are responsive to iwi and other community groups, being part of the communities in which we operate.

“We could start tomorrow.”

With the right approach, this process will be able to produce great outcomes for Auckland (and for Aucklanders), where social housing is in high demand and homelessness is perpetually on the rise.

18 for 4 can be that approach.



Further Information

Auckland Community Housing Providers’ Network

The Auckland Community Housing Providers’ Network is made up of long-established, proven and reliable community-based organisations with long track records of offering housing choice for people and reinvesting surpluses back into the community through the development of more warm, safe, dry homes. Affiliated organisations include:

  • Accessible Properties
  • Airedale Property Trust and Lifewise
  • Auckland Community Housing Trust
  • Bays Community Housing Trust
  • Community of Refuge Trust
  • Habitat for Humanity (Auckland)
  • Keys Social Housing
  • Monte Cecilia Housing Trust
  • New Zealand Housing Foundation
  • VisionWest Community Trust

ACHPN’s experience and skill base is comprehensive and includes: tenancy management, asset management, affordable property development, project management, social services provision and community engagement and participation. We aim to move people along the housing continuum, ensuring there are choices available to people no matter where they are in their housing journey.



The concept sounds promising and I do wonder if The Southern Initiative (given it is the second transformation goal in the Auckland Plan that includes housing) should partner up. The Southern Initiative covers South Auckland that has large tracts of inefficiently allocated single state houses on large parcels of land. Perfect candidates for the 18:4 solution especially in Manurewa (highest area of over crowding) and the Panuku Transform Manukau area (residential areas in Wiri and Rata Vines).


Manukau SHA site and in comparison to where it is from the southern end
Manukau SHA site and in comparison to where it is from the southern end


3 thoughts on “18:4 Housing Solution. Is it a solution?

  1. This has nothing to do with community housing sector per se as the great job they might be doing as the ambulance at the bottom of the cliff.

    My point is, why are they needed to the point they are?

    The definition of an affordable house is NOT a house that you can affordable if you need subsidized into it.

    If we think this is the definition then we will only see subsidies as the answer. And then thinking we have answered the question, we stop trying to provide the real solution to the problem.

    Less restrictive zoning also means less restrictive bureaucratic and infrastructure restriction, plus since the UP is only ‘freeing up’ land that has already had been land banked, the input costs are already too high to achieve affordable housing, unless it is subsidized.

    Community Housing providers are also an input cost, that make housing less affordable than if the same house could have and should have been available in the market without their assistance.

    On my jury I can tell you the answer is the UP is and will be a complete failure in providing affordable housing.

    To date families that have purchased through assisted schemes have done so in communities that do not have the immediate neighbourhood density and ratio of the 18/4 scheme, and in my opinion, stand to be financial losers.

  2. What do you/they mean by affordable?

    More than 75% of the houses need to be subsidized. The remaining houses will be mainly bought by speculators/landlords which could also go into the general subsidized housing stock.

    Say after me, ‘subsidized housing is not affordable housing.’

    The real losers will the 33% who buy as assisted owners amongst the rest of the housing stock that will degenerate to the standard Housing NZ level of care.

    Since the price of all land is set at the fringe, until you remove restrictive zoning you will not get truly affordable inner city housing.

    The Govt. know this but want to sell the land they own for its full inflated value. Look how much they have been selling the fringe land at Hobsonville.

    All that the present system does, besides not making housing affordable, is provide an unnecessary level of bureaucracy, while revenue for those involved, is still an unnecessary cost for those that have to pay for it.

    Typical Broken Window Fallacy.

    1. Dales appears to be talking out of ignorance of what the community housing sector has been achieving and promoting in their solutions for Auckland’s housing crises. Families housed through assisted homeownership schemes do not feel like “losers” when they are offered homes to buy that they would otherwise not be able to afford. Community housing developments are not the same as HNZ, are managed differently and offer a much wider range of options for people in need of housing.
      The Unitary Plan has removed some of the restrictive zoning argued as the problem. The jury is still out whether it is the answer, in the interim solution like 18 for 4 are much needed.

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