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Axing Auckland’s affordable quota disappointing

Auckland Council has given away a useful tool for delivering more affordable housing by voting to accept the Independent Hearing Panel’s recommendation to abolish affordable quotas for new developments, says Labour’s Housing spokesperson Phil Twyford.

“It is disappointing a majority of Councillors have gone along with the National Government’s bad advice on this. Requiring large developments to include a share of affordable homes, if implemented well, can be an effective tool for increasing the supply of affordable housing.

“You can see it working at Hobsonville where good design sees more affordable units seamlessly integrated into new developments. We need more of this, not less.

“This city desperately needs more affordable homes. The market on its own is delivering only 5 per cent of new builds at an affordable price. As long as the market suffers an excess of demand over supply, developers will always choose to build expensive homes that deliver bigger profit margins.

“In a perfectly functioning market, developers would build a range of affordable options for home buyers. But we are a long way from that.

“If Councillors think that increased density under the new Unitary Plan will be enough to make housing more affordable, that’s a mighty big leap of faith. The latest consent data shows most new apartments in Auckland are being built at the luxury end of the market.

“Labour believes the affordability crisis is so acute tools like affordability quotas in developments are needed, alongside policies like Labour’s Kiwibuild policy to build affordable houses, and replacement of the urban growth boundary with a smarter way to manage urban growth,” Phil Twyford says.