29 Jul 2016

Unitary Plan - Poor housing for the poor?

6:03 am on 29 July 2016

Increased housing density under Auckland's revised Unitary Plan may not mean more quality homes for those on low incomes, community housing groups say.

Conditions at the motel charging $190 per night for emergency housing

Photo: RNZ / Claire Eastham-Farrelly

The Salvation Army said there was a very real risk Auckland's most vulnerable would still have shoddy housing.

Policy analyst Alan Johnson said although Aucklanders needed to get behind the plan, he was concerned about the quality of future housing developments.

"What will happen is that speculative developers will come in and they'll build the cheapest housing that they can get away with. And that housing will find a market because we're so desperately short of any housing at any price in Auckland."

It was a recipe for poorly designed, poorly run buildings in lower income areas, he said.

Community Housing Aotearoa chief executive Scott Figenshow also voiced concern over the revised plan and described it as a missed opportunity for affordable housing.

"The density provided by the plan is great but it doesn't guarantee affordability," he said.

"We're very concerned that without a mandatory requirement for retained affordable housing that additional supply especially in the new greenfield areas it'll be out of reach to our working families."

"We need inclusionary zoning and retained affordable housing provisions to ensure that a portion of the homes meet the needs of our low and moderate income families."

Mr Figenshow said there was still time for Auckland Council to put the affordable provisions back into the plan, which had been removed by the independent hearings panel which revised the Unitary plan

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