The Coalition For More Homes Welcomes Today’s Housing Announcement
The Coalition for More Homes welcomes the announcement of the Resource Management (Enabling Housing Supply and Other Matters) Amendment Bill, which will accelerate and build upon the National Policy Statement on Urban Development. It is a major step forward in allowing more housing to be built, in existing urban areas close to public transport, services and amenities.
Enabling three storeys ‘as of right’ across Auckland will help to meet demand for townhouses and low-rise apartments in all areas of the city. This aligns with a key policy position of the Coalition for More Homes.
Making three storeys the minimum zoning will allow everything from stand alone houses to three storey walk up apartments in all locations.
Denser housing typologies use less carbon per person for construction and heating, while also supporting more carbon-efficient public and active transport options. Intensification within our major cities will reduce pressure for outwards sprawl, make more efficient use of existing infrastructure and units are typically smaller and therefore are more affordable to both rent and buy.
The exclusion of character as a qualifying matter is a major and necessary step to enable more people to live in the most accessible and liveable parts of Auckland, and other cities around Aotearoa, which are currently subject to such controls. The existing character controls have failed to deliver good outcomes by allowing heavy modifications to existing housing, degrading character, while only succeeding in excluding development to support more dwellings and residents. The Coalition for More Homes supports the strengthening of heritage protections for heritage listed buildings.
Coalition Partner and advocates for public/ active transport, Greater Auckland said “This is fantastic and hugely positive for Auckland. It means being allowed to build the cities our children need, today: walkable neighbourhoods, with less traffic, giving you everything you need within a short scoot, bike, or bus ride. Call us L&P cause we're absolutely fizzing”.
Coalition Partner and climate change advocacy group, Generation Zero said “this announcement will help us address our major challenges of housing affordability, traffic congestion and climate change, and is a step towards creating the walkable, liveable cities needed for Aotearoa to decarbonise in line with our climate commitments.”
Coalition Partner and think-tank The New Zealand Initiative strongly welcomed the proposal, while urging complementary moves in council funding and in infrastructure financing to truly unlock the potential of today’s announcement. “Unless councils have the funding and financing tools to provide the infrastructure needed to enable more development, they might use consenting processes to block or delay the development that needs to happen. But this is a superb first step.”
Coalition Partner and Community Housing Provider, Habitat for Humanity Northern, said “Habitat welcomes the changes that will allow for increased housing supply in Auckland. This higher density will also enable more collective and integrated use of existing public transport routes and contribute to a vibrant and livable city.”
Coalition Partner and collective housing advocacy group The Housing Innovation Society said “There could be real benefit for many Kiwis with the potential for more diversity and at a range of price points. That would be a great result for the growing collective housing sector, if done right.”
Coalition Partner and affordable housing social enterprise, Forever Affordable Homes said “[This is] a welcome announcement on multiple fronts. Let's couple it with value capture and ensure a mandated forever affordability requirement.”
Coalition Partner and Community Housing Provider, CORT Community Housing, said
"The changes in the Unitary Plan are proof that planning rules restrict housing supply. We welcome changes that allow more housing to be built across Auckland. This will help address affordability issues and enable us to build more community housing in Auckland."
Coalition Partner Unite Union, says "Today's announcement is about people. By enabling more homes across our major cities, we're making life easier for people and especially those who have been let down by the status quo: people who are homeless or in insecure housing, workers who struggle to afford their high rents, people who can't even afford to move to the cities where the jobs are. This is great news for all of them."
While today’s announcement is a positive step, the Coalition is still calling for Auckland Council to be ambitious with the plan change. It should enable at least 6 storeys across Isthmus suburbs, due to their excellent accessibility and high land prices which reflect demand.
The NPS-UD is not the only action that is needed from Auckland Council and central Government to address the housing and climate crises – but it is a critical step. Infrastructure should get more funding to support the increase in housing resulting from these changes. This is Auckland Council’s chance to show strong leadership and enable more options for healthy, affordable homes, and enhancing accessible, connected and resilient neighbourhoods where local, low-carbon lifestyles are a genuine choice.
The Coalition is a group of citizens and organisations calling for more homes near public transport, amenities, and employment to reduce congestion, carbon emissions, and unaffordability.
Our key ask to Auckland Council is as follows.
- Upzone to enable at least six storeys in the isthmus suburbs, due to their excellent accessibility and high land prices.
- Upzone to enable at least three storeys from Albany and Westgate to Papakura. Allowing standalone houses, terraces and walk-up apartments to co-exist on the same street.
- Upzone to enable at least six storeys in locations well served by the frequent bus network.
- Remove special character overlays, but retain and improve the listed heritage protections.
- Make the rules and design outcomes work better for people - better design outcomes, accessible houses and public spaces, friendly, walkable communities.