- Behind 18 for 4
Homelessness and housing concerns are multi-faceted issues. With more support needed across the board, 18 for 4 will begin to focus on improving housing quality and providing assistance to those struggling with Auckland’s high demand for property.
Thriving communities evolve in places where people want to live – communities that value diversity and bring people together from all walks of life. That idea is one of the key driving forces behind 18 for 4.
How will it work?
The 18 for 4 concept focuses on providing quality mixed-tenure housing for a wide range of people – from various income levels, from across the housing spectrum. The idea is to repurpose tracts of land in existing suburbs and create low-rise complexes that will incorporate units for both rental and ownership. With the mixed-tenure model, there is greater opportunity for people to achieve their housing aspirations within the same community.
ACHPN will work to construct these new homes in neighbourhoods within the new Unitary Plan mixed housing urban zones. Depending on the availability of land, these homes will ideally be placed in areas that are in close proximity to shopping centres, schools and public transport services – allowing these new 18 for 4-enabled residents to integrate into the existing community.
The biggest expense in any housing development is land. The basic costs involved with building a home are much the same in Christchurch as Auckland – but the land itself can be 10 times as expensive. 18 for 4 will face the same challenges – however, the community housing sector has demonstrated its ability to develop affordable, cost effective homes for potential tenants and new home buyers, even in the current tempestuous market.
Low-rise apartment buildings are among the most cost-effective buildings to construct. These types of buildings are generally set up in clusters as part of a community. This will enable 18 for 4 to provide many homes on a small site, optimising use of land. The benefits of this community-centric layout include easier socialisation with your neighbours, not to mention the likelihood of easier access of open space and green areas.
Maximising the land we have
While opportunities may arise to source housing or land from other sources, the starting point for the 18 for 4 concept is to make use existing state homes that are coming up for sale or for replacement. Rather than taking Housing NZ stock and pushing it off into private hands, 18 for 4 ensures the best of both worlds. If four adjoining Housing NZ properties are purchased for 18 for 4 development purposes, the amount of social housing property available will double.
Here’s how it works: within the 18 new units, 8 will be used for social housing. 6 will be used for assisted home ownership via a rent-to-buy model. And 4 will be put up for private sale – but with specific regulations requiring them to be owner-occupied. So everyone will belong, and everyone will be able to take pride in their surroundings and their community.
The homes will be distributed as effectively as possible to those who require assistance in the property space. Rent will vary on the basis of each individual tenant’s income and government income assistance eligibility. To ensure affordability, sales will be at the lower end of the market range for apartment units of similar size for both the private sale and rent-to-buy assisted ownership options.