Unitary Plan lobbyists go for broke

Unitary Plan lobbyists go for broke

An unlikely group individuals and organisations have banded together with one thing in mind - Auckland's housing crisis.

 The group is lobbying Auckland Council to pass the Unitary Plan, and do so quickly. It's a diverse and somewhat eclectic mix united with a common purpose.

"The Unitary Plan is bold visionary and pragmatic," says economist Shamubeel Eaqub.

The Coalition for More Homes includes economists, community groups, developers, charities and educational groups.

It's calling for Auckland Council to pass the Unitary Plan, which will open-up enough land for 400,000 more homes without a fuss.

"If we don't go ahead with this plan we're probably set back by another five years. It takes that long for us to get a cohesive, comprehensive plan that's going to unlock land in sufficient quantities to build enough houses for Aucklanders," says Mr Eaqub.

But not everybody's pushing for the plan to be adopted as soon as the coalition would like. While grounds for appeal are very slim, Brandon Wilcox from the Grey Lynn Residents Association says a degree of caution must be taken.

"Auckland central [and] the fringe suburbs have the highest collection of Victorian wooden housing in the world, so over the next couple of decades we could see that decimated," says Mr Wilcox.

Coalition for More Homes is sending an open letter to the Council in the hope more groups will join its campaign.

Still, the cost of heritage is worth it for some.

"We have locked young people out of the housing market [and] we have homeless people, to then squabble over character and heritage seems pretty mean-spirited and hard," says Mr Eaqub.