Tag: housing affordability

Planning Committee – March 2019. A Few Forests Cut Down for the Stack of Reports Due Back on Spatial Planning and #OurManukau

REPORTS, REPORTS, REPORTS! The Auckland Council Planning Committee chaired by Councillor Chris Darby meets today and as usual today’s agenda continues to be a meaty one with reports back on … Continue reading Planning Committee – March 2019. A Few Forests Cut Down for the Stack of Reports Due Back on Spatial Planning and #OurManukau

RMA Reforms to Get Under-way – In Earnest

Reforms to tackle housing affordability?


From the Minister for the Environment – Dr Nick Smith

Reform of RMA critical to reforming housing affordability

The Resource Management Act needs to explicitly recognise the importance of New Zealanders’ access to more affordable housing if the downward trend in home ownership over the past 20 years is to be reversed, Building and Housing, and Environment Minister Dr Nick Smith said today at the Property Council New Zealand’s Residential Development Summit in Auckland.

“The Resource Management Act must safeguard our natural environment but it is also a crucial piece of planning legislation. It forms the basis for the decisions that determine what we can do on our land. So it’s important we have a system that balances environmental protection with the wider needs of New Zealanders. We need a system which ensures that important environmental standards are maintained, but that which also enables growth and development – including a strong housing supply,” Dr Smith says.

“It is the price of land and sections that has gone up so rapidly in unaffordable housing markets like Auckland, and it is the Resource Management Act and how it is implemented that is largely responsible for this cost escalation. The new law allowing Special Housing Areas is a short-term fix but we must address the fundamental problem with the Resource Management Act if we are serious about long-term housing affordability.

“The vast bulk of consent processes under the Resource Management Act are about urban development, yet they barely rate a mention in the purposes and principles of the Act. This is why the Government is determined to make changes. We need to get everybody working in the resource management area from a policy, planning and consent perspective to understand how their decisions impact on young Kiwi families who aspire to own their own home.

“I welcome the challenge working as Building and Housing, and Environment Minister. No one Minister has previously been responsible for the full regulatory framework affecting housing, from subdivisions, building consenting to occupational regulation. This presents the opportunity to streamline how we develop new housing so as to increase housing supply and affordability.”


Source: http://beehive.govt.nz/release/reform-rma-critical-reforming-housing-affordability#.VD2xNLdkiz0.twitter


It will be interesting to see what comes about when the draft reforms list is finally released – most likely by Christmas if the Government is going full speed on this.

Still I wonder if we would have been better served if we had a Planning Minister: Queensland Gets It Right, Auckland Continues to Dither and Get it Wrong

Also the old issue of property rights is bound to crop as well: Property Rights and the Unitary Plan


So lets see what the reforms do truly give us….


A Californian Take on Housing Affordability

A look at the situation from our Pacific cousin


We all know about housing affordability. It is literally shoved in our face by Central and Local Governments, the media, and social media. How do we address the issue of housing affordability is as vexed whether the chicken or egg came first. Below is an extract from ‘The Planning Report’ and its Housing Affordability post by Bill Witte.

From The Planning Report:

Bill Witte on Housing Affordability: A Supply and Demand Problem

Bill Witte. Source: http://www.planningreport.com/2014/05/28/bill-witte-housing-affordability-supply-and-demand-problem

“You have a coastal California with a relatively expensive housing market, but you also have a significant percentage of the population whose incomes are below middle class, and with job growth concentrated either in ‘knowledge economy’ jobs that pay very well, or lower paying service jobs. There is a disconnect.” –Bill Witte

Bill, a recent study by Trulia found, after examining the range of affordability for a typical middle class home against median household income, that home ownership was increasingly out of reach of the middle class along the coasts, and specifically in Los Angeles County. Please share your thoughts on the meaning and significance of that finding.

Bill Witte: First of all, I think one of the reasons that’s true is that Los Angeles County has a very high percentage of low and very-low-income households. You have both a supply and a demand problem. You have a relatively expensive housing market and an often lengthy and expensive approval process for new development,

In the Bay Area, which might even be less affordable, housing prices are even more astronomic but incomes are generally higher. That’s fundamentally not the case in Los Angeles.

What are the implications of this phenomenon?

First of all, it is worth considering the context in LA County for middle class residential options, which is related to a whole basket of issues, including quality of schools and other quality of life concerns. A lot of the working and middle class moved out of inner city neighborhoods to distant suburban areas in the ‘90s where housing is more affordable. So, an obvious problem arises from commuting—the time, the effect on families, and transportation costs, which have risen as gas prices have risen. That’s one problem. Another problem is the City and the County find it increasingly difficulty to support or attract the middle class, and that impacts a city’s economic base. The net result: middle class jobs may be less likely to locate in urban LA and LA County.

You can read the rest of the article here: http://www.planningreport.com/2014/05/28/bill-witte-housing-affordability-supply-and-demand-problem


Your thoughts on the situation in California and any similar issues back here in Auckland?