University of Cambridge > > Land Economy Departmental Seminar Series > The Politics of Land Supply and Affordable Housing: Auckland’s Housing Accord and Special Housing Areas

The Politics of Land Supply and Affordable Housing: Auckland’s Housing Accord and Special Housing Areas

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Since the global financial crisis (GFC), governments and financial authorities have adopted a more cautious, and definitely less sanguine, approach to housing market booms. Land release and housing supply measures have become favoured policy responses to the pressing political problem of housing affordability. Within governance regimes that advocate evidence based policy practice, the shift to a ‘supply response’ to housing affordability is constructed as a technical and apolitical project. However, increasingly planning for housing development involves conflict between local government planning practices and central government housing policies. This paper examines a key historical moment in the politics of housing supply and planning in New Zealand. Drawing upon an analysis of housing policy documents and urban plans, this paper traces the dynamic of local and central government negotiations (and conflict) arising from the development of Auckland’s spatial plan, the development of the Auckland Housing Accord (a central and local government agreement to fast-track planning permission for new housing) and the implementation of the Housing Accords and Special Housing Areas Act. It is argued that the legislation supporting housing accords alters central/local government power relations and represents a significant challenge to the current planning regime. At a broader level the study highlights the ‘hidden’ politics that inform housing policy development in an era of evidence based policy practice.

Laurence Murphy is Professor of Property at The University of Auckland Business School and was Head of the Department of Property from 2003-2009. An economic geographer by training, he has published widely on property topics including; home ownership, social rental housing, mortgage securitisation, office development, and entrepreneurial urban governance. He is currently part of a multi-disciplinary research team, funded by the New Zealand Ministry of Business Innovation and Employment, working on a project entitled: “Finding the Best Fit: Housing, Downsizing and Older People in a Changing Society”. Professor Murphy completed his PhD at the University of Dublin (Trinity College) and has held lecturing positions at the Queen’s University Belfast and the London School of Economics. He is currently the Helen Cam Visiting Fellow at Girton College, Cambridge.

This talk is part of the Land Economy Departmental Seminar Series series.

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