Housing growth: an online tool

SESSION: Thursday 20th April
PRESENTED BY: Danielle Gatland & Hamish Sykes

Seeing is (sometimes) believing. This can apply to housing policy as much as anything else, where visualisation can inform better choices.

The NPS-UD requires some councils to evaluate the plan-enabled capacity and economic feasibility of their housing. In Whangārei, rather than update an old spreadsheet tool, we took this opportunity to develop a user-friendly, interactive tool that analyses and maps future housing capacity.

The tool enables planners to see at a glance where future housing supply is likely to be, through maps and summary tables. It analyses two components of housing assessments:

  1. How much plan-enabled housing capacity is there and where is it?
  2. How much of that plan-enabled capacity is economically feasible to developers?

Through this tool, users have the power to develop various scenarios to truly understand the extent of housing supply across the district. The available tests include alternative District Plan zones and rules, whether demolition of existing buildings is considered, adjusting development costs and sales prices, running different hazard scenarios and altering the developers’ objectives (e.g. to maximise profit or to maximise net added dwellings).

This tool has helped Council answer questions such as:

  • What are the key planning rules that are supporting or hindering development capacity and feasibility?
  • What locations are appropriate to accommodate urban growth over the long term?
  • How do different approaches to managing natural hazards impact on the district's housing capacity?
  • What factors influence housing development patterns and growth, and therefore what levers can we pull to support growth in an effective manner?

Watch this space to find out how Whangārei District Council capitalise on this tool to support housing growth in an efficient and effective manner across the district.

Presented By

Danielle Gatland