Auckland needs more housing – and it needs it now. In a recent report, the Ministry of Business, Innovation and Employment estimated the shortfall in housing in Auckland to be around 45,000 homes. Building consents are booming, but demand is still outstripping construction, and the consequences are being felt the hardest by our most vulnerable citizens. Every New Zealander deserves to live in a safe and healthy house but, for many people, securing a warm and dry home is an increasing struggle.
But things are changing, and rapidly. The government, Auckland Council, and local trusts and charities are all working to help house our city’s growing population. Housing New Zealand, too, is part of the solution, and its $2.23 billion Auckland Housing Programme (AHP) is building 23,600 new homes across the region.
The programme will be executed over more than a decade, but on the ground new houses and developments have already been completed, and their tenants’ lives transformed.
Smarter use of land and award-winning housing
Housing New Zealand has 63,000 properties under its management, making it New Zealand’s largest landowner. Unlocking this underutilised reserve of land is a crucial part of the solution. Right now, ageing housing stock is being removed and the land redeveloped in a range of small and large projects: three major and over one hundred small and medium projects spread across Auckland.
The new construction projects range in scale from single blocks, to major sites with up to 10,000 homes. The major developments will benefit all Aucklanders by delivering state, affordable, and market homes, including the new infrastructure and amenities required to promote vibrant communities.
Across the city, old, damp, cold housing stock is being replaced by modern, warm, healthy homes, built to standards that are above and beyond those required by the building code. In addition to double glazing and full insulation, the architecture of the houses and apartments is designed to take full advantage of the sun, to provide homes that are naturally warm and light. Some of these new homes have won a New Zealand Institute of Architects award and a New Zealand Property Council award for the way they integrate into and enhance the existing fabric of their surrounding neighbourhood.
Large developments will deliver homes at scale
Three of the large developments – at Northcote, Mount Roskill and Mangere – are being master-planned by HLC. A wholly-owned subsidiary of Housing New Zealand, HLC was established in 2006 to redevelop the former Hobsonville Air Force base north-west of Auckland into a new suburb. Over the past decade, HLC has become skilled not only at building new homes, but also at designing entire neighbourhoods and communities. They’re bringing that expertise to the Northcote, Mount Roskill and Mangere developments, which provide a mix of state, affordable, and market homes supported by green spaces and amenities. These large developments are designed to improve not only the lives of Housing New Zealand tenants, but also the wider community.
Northcote is a priority location for new homes and amenities, and redevelopment work there started two years ago. The six-year masterplan includes 400 new Housing New Zealand homes – 100 more than are being removed – and a network of parks and greenways linking homes to the local town centre. Stage one which provides 59 new state homes and apartments, is all but complete and all tenants will have moved in by August 2018. By the time the entire Northcote Development is completed, the project will have added 800 additional new market and affordable homes.
Mount Roskill has been picked for major redevelopment due to its existing amenities, close proximity to the city and accessible public transport and road links. Work has already begun on building 300 new state homes, and close to 500 affordable/market homes. Located in an area between Dominion Road and May Road, the first group of four houses – with a combined total of 11 bedrooms – is due for completion later this year, on a site that previously held a single home.
Planning work has already started on a 15-year project to replace around 2,500 ageing buildings with 3,000 new state homes. Stage one comprises seven separate developments, and the first of these will see 35 old state houses removed and replaced with 66 modern homes. In addition to social housing, the plan is to build 7,000 affordable and market homes at a 50/50 ratio.
Smaller developments enhance existing suburbs citywide
While the big projects are making a mark on the landscapes of entire suburbs, the many smaller ones are making a difference to communities and residents on a street-by-street level. From Manurewa to Mount Albert, and Henderson to Howick, a range of new and technologically innovative homes is being built. Including small apartments for singles or couples, terraced housing and standalone homes with up to five bedrooms, the buildings are designed to meet the needs of modern families.
Of a planned 296 redevelopments planned across Auckland, nearly half are underway or have already been built. Recent examples include:
- In Mount Albert, a new development featuring a mix of two-, three-, and four-bedroom houses, now provides warm, dry and healthy homes that can comfortably accommodate up to 90 tenants. The award-winning project replaced eight damp units that were built during WWII.
- In Clements Street, Otahuhu, three 1950’s homes occupied a 2,143 sqm site. In their place there are now warm, modern homes for ten families.
Much of Housing New Zealand’s housing stock was built during the post-war era to accommodate our booming population. New higher density suburbs were designed and delivered by successive governments, and construction processes were streamlined to best utilise the technologies of the day. Today, over half a century later, the technology might be different, but the same basic challenge applies: to build quality homes and vibrant communities for New Zealanders.
By using land more efficiently to build new and better homes and neighbourhoods, Housing New Zealand’s Auckland Housing Programme is drawing on the legacy of our past to build a better city for all Aucklanders.