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Desperate shortage of housing capacity


Growth Forum reports desperate shortage of housing capacity 7 March 2003

The Auckland Regional Growth Forum says the country's planning authorities need to put existing plans into action to ensure there is enough housing capacity to accommodate population growth in Auckland.

The new Growth Forum report released today Auckland Metropolitan Area: Capacity for Growth 2001 estimates the region's residential land supply will be exhausted in as little as 14 years from now. Implementing the Auckland Regional Growth Strategy is therefore critical to ensure that at least 15 years capacity is maintained says the report.

Among the report's main points: - The ability of the metropolitan area to accommodate further population growth could be exhausted in as little as 14 years (16 years from 2001). - If business land was excluded from the calculations, metropolitan capacity would be exhausted in as little as 11 years. - Business land is being used for residential purposes at a rate that may seriously compromise further business growth. - With new capacity taking up to 10 years to come on-stream, the situation is urgent.

ARC and Growth Forum Chair Gwen Bull says this is a pertinent reminder of why the Regional Growth Forum exists - continued population growth will shortly exhaust our land resources. "Yet if we continue to expand at the urban fringes, Auckland's urban area could stretch from Wellsford to Pukekohe within 50 years. This is not a picture anyone wants to entertain."

To avoid this scenario, new forms of capacity are required as outlined in the Regional Growth Strategy, agreed to by all Auckland's councils. The strategy seeks to accommodate 70% of future growth within the existing urban area, particularly around transport nodes, in higher density but high quality neighbourhoods. This will be absolutely essential to support the planned upgrade of the passenger transport system.

The report is available through the ARC on 366-2000.

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