Housing NZ Corporation's new developments will arrive in disguise: state houses mimicking privately-owned ones.
Patrick Dougherty, the corporation's development strategy manager, said some of New Zealand's best architects had been employed to design new apartments, townhouses and stand-along dwellings aiming to be a big advance on from mid-twentieth century traditional weatherboard.
The outcome is intensification of existing sites across Auckland, from Papakura to Waterview, and a range of new styles which Dougherty said no one will be able to look at and say 'that's state housing'.
"We're trying to achieve blind tenure so you can't tell it's state housing. We're not looking to build long rows of terraces or duplexes. We're using the new Unitary Plan rules to govern the consent for these," he said.
Auckland sites with 114 older state residences will soon be redeveloped to take 470 residences, a chart showed. Of those, about 20 demolitions are either under way or about to start resulting in 64 new places shortly.
The corporation has launched the new Simple Guide to Urban Design & Development Toolkit, "a whole new approach to creating healthy mixed communities that have state housing within them," aiming to get better state housing rebuild outcomes.
That addresses building form, layout, access, circulation, character and identity, addresses how the difference between public and private space needs to be made clear, parking design and layout, landscaping, boundary treatments and fences, signage, lighting and crime prevention.
"Our desire is to unlock the latent value in our properties, to transform, regenerate and intensify our portfolio to create world-class healthy, vibrant, sustainable and enduring mixed-use communities," the toolkit says.
AUCKLAND STATE HOUSE REDEVELOPMENTS
- 60-70 Daventry St, Waterview:
3 houses, each divided into two units, demolished to make way for 17 residences
Site: 3456sq m, or .3 of a hectare.
Architect: Monk MacKenzie
- Corner Busby St and Crowther St, Blockhouse Bay: demolishing four and building 13
Architect: Avery Team Architects
Site: 2424sq m
Architect: Avery Team Architects
- 564 Richardson Rd, Mount Roskill:
Demolishing two on an L-shaped section, building eight
Site: 1770sq m
Architect: Ignite Architects
- Corner Ronaki Rd/Petrie Pl, Otahuhu
Demolishing five, building 19
Site: 4352sq m
- 6 and 8 Old Wairoa Rd, Papakura
Demolishing two, building nine
Site: 2000sq m
Architect: Strachan Group Architects
[Source: Patrick Dougherty, Housing NZ Corporation]
The kit was in train well before the death of Emma-Lita Bourne, the child who died in a cold, damp South Auckland Otara state house and whose family had repeatedly sought the corporation's assistance.
Dougherty said the corporation had already been acknowledged as embracing leading-edge design in its new houses.
In response to eviction outcries such as at East Tamaki where people decried leaving the house they had lived in for years, Dougherty says: "We're making better use of that land, housing more people, providing new, warm, dry, health houses."
The corporation has large blocks of land across Auckland, many some hundreds of square metres with a single state house on them. So it has a comprehensive development schedule which shows dozens of new developments across the city.
"There are 2000 new houses either build or under construction since July 2013," he said, clarifying that included stand-alone places, terraced and apartment residences and duplexes.
About 1000 of those new places are in Auckland.
Dougherty praised Ree Anderson's Housing Project Office at Auckland Council.
"It's been excellent for us. They're established to see houses get build, saying 'here are the people who can affect your build to proceed and they will work through how you can solve some of the constraints to development.' Resource consents are better. They still take the standard 20 working days but they will only do limited notification - if any - and there are no appeal rights, so you can have confidence when you go through the process," he said, explaining how a neighbourhood could be an impediment to getting plans approved.
Dougherty said one of the biggest constraints was an inadequate stormwater system, creating issues when sites were intensified but pipes were not big enough to cope.
See where Daventry Street is here: