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Decision digest | Auckland Development Committee

Decision digest | Auckland Development Committee
15 October 2015

New housing affordability target for council

Setting a new goal to tackle Auckland’s housing affordability problem and commissioning new analysis on the issue headlined the Auckland Development Committee’s agenda, which focussed on urban development.

The following is a digest of decisions made.

The agenda is available on the Auckland Council website and minutes will be added once confirmed. This meeting was also webcast on the council’s website and items will be available on demand within 24 hours of the meeting.

Items 1- 10 were administrative items.

Item 11: Port Future Study Update

Dr Rick Boven, Independent Chair of the Port Future Study, provided an update on the study’s progress, the process it follows, and the final study scope.

In his first appearance at council committee, Dr Boven spoke about the study completing its first milestone in agreeing the final scope and the next steps in appointing a consultant to identify and evaluate options for the Port’s long-term future.

The scope provides the framework and context for the consultant’s work and will be appointed in November following a competitive, open and robust procurement process. The study’s Consensus Working Group will work closely and collaboratively with the consultant to understand and guide their work, and to ensure that its members are well-informed when they receive the consultant’s report and develop their recommendations to council.

Dr Boven also said the Consensus Working Group members are aligned on working for the long-term interests of Auckland. They are collaborating effectively, developing a shared understanding and establishing a solid foundation for the work to come.

Councillor’s had the opportunity to ask questions which largely focussed on the study’s scope which the committee also decided to endorse at the meeting. The Port Future Study remains on target to provide recommendations to Auckland Council by late June 2016.

The final Port Future Study scope is available on page 21 of the Auckland Development Committee online.

Item 12: Urban Location Analysis results for Panuku Development Auckland

A number of locations have been recommended to Panuku Development Auckland to consider as part of their new ‘Type 1’ urban redevelopment programme.

The Urban Location Analysis project, established by Auckland Council, identifies nine initial locations which include Manukau, Ōtāhuhu,Onehunga, Newmarket, Northcote, Takapuna, Mt Eden Station, Avondale, and Henderson.

Type 1 developments are very large scale, long-term residential and/or commercial developments that deliver on one of the objectives of the Auckland Plan - to radically improve the quality of urban living. An example is the redevelopment activities occurring at the Auckland Waterfront.

Panuku Development Auckland is in the early stages of selecting urban locations across the region where it will facilitate development. The results of this project helps Panuku focus within Auckland’s spatial priority areas for future development.

The location analysis information and recommendations will now be passed over to the Panuku Development Auckland to consider and report back to the Auckland Development Committee on 10 December with a recommended Type 1 development shortlist.

Item 13: Housing Supply, Choice and Affordability: Trends, Economic Drivers and Possible Policy Interventions

Chris Parker, Chief Economist for Auckland Council, spoke to the committee on his recently completed report Housing supply, choice and affordability; Trends, economic drivers, and possible policy interventions, which was publicly released on Wednesday 30 September 2015.

The report identifies a range of levers on both the supply and demand side that could be considered to address the housing affordability problem in Auckland.

Following a recommendation in the report, the committee decided to endorse a target of bringing down the ratio of median home purchase price-to-median household income to five to one by 2030. The ratio is currently nine-to-one.

It also agreed in principle to include the target in the forthcoming refresh of the Auckland Plan and noted that the council needs to continue to work in partnership with the Government if this housing affordability target is to be met.

Mr Parker says including this target in the Auckland Plan is a really positive step towards making housing more affordable. “It will help shape and focus our thinking moving forward. It will provide us with a tangible, achievable goal to frame up the decisions the council needs to make to create the world's most liveable city including affordable housing", says Mr Parker.

The committee also requested that the council progress the next stage of the Auckland’s housing affordability work by undertaking further analysis and advice on the issue of housing affordability in consultation with Government agencies, to be completed in February 2016.

The Chief Economist’s housing affordability report was commissioned by Mayor Len Brown and Deputy Mayor Penny Hulse. It is an independent economic think piece and is not council policy. However, it will help inform the council's ongoing strategy for action and advocacy. It is availableon council’s website.

Item 14: C40 Cities Climate Leadership Group - Auckland Council Membership

The council’s membership application to the C40 Cities Climate Leadership Group was endorsed by the committee by 9 votes to 7 after a vote was taken by division.

C40 is a strategic global network of over 75 leading cities working together to reduce greenhouse gas emissions and climate risks. Members share knowledge, best practice and research and commit to leading globally on climate change.

The council was invited to make an application for membership by the C40 Cities Climate Leadership Group in June 2014.

The discussion talked about the total savings from sustainability of $12.7 million the council has made to date in electricity, gas, water, energy, LED and renewable energy. However, while council continuously seeks savings and emissions reductions, these are more challenging to identify and implement over time.

Sharing best practice, knowledge and innovation ideas with C40 cities will assist in identifying and achieving more savings. Membership is also expected to accelerate implementation of the Low Carbon Action Plan.

ENDS


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