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Tenth expansion for Auckland housing zones

NZ NewswireNZ Newswire 7/04/2016

<span style="font-size:13px;">The new zones include small lots of land across the city, including in the leafy suburbs of Epsom, Grey Lynn and Kingsland, with the bulk of the new area in Drury and Clarks Beach.</span> © Getty The new zones include small lots of land across the city, including in the leafy suburbs of Epsom, Grey Lynn and Kingsland, with the bulk of the new area in Drury and Clarks Beach. The government has announced a 10th expansion to its list of fast-tracked Auckland building sites as it tries bump up housing supply in the city.

Housing Minister Nick Smith on Thursday announced 36 new areas had been added to list of Special Housing Area where Auckland Council is speeding up consents to help create more homes amid massive demand.

The additions push the list up to 154 zones and increase the possible pace of development for a potential 56,000 homes.

The new zones include small lots of land scattered across the city, including in the leafy suburbs of Epsom, Grey Lynn and Kingsland, with the bulk of the new area in Drury and Clarks Beach.

Affordable homes planned in the Special Housing Areas are given special consenting and approval processes to allow quicker construction.

Any home priced below 75 per cent of the Auckland median house price of $770,000 - in December - is considered affordable under the scheme - but buildings of more than 15 homes, such as apartments, only need 10 per cent of homes to be affordable to qualify.

Auckland Mayor Len Brown said while there had been an increase in the demand for consents in the zones, from 52 a month in the first two years of the plan to 290 a month this year, the full third-year target of 17,000 consented homes would be a stretch.

"Our focus will be on doing everything we can to ensure the momentum we have been seeing so far continues," he said.

The Labour Party has called for the government to abandon the scheme, saying it's fallen well short of delivering an estimated 14,000 homes needed each year to keep up with Auckland's population growth.

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