How ‘affordable housing’ has ruined lives

As debate in New Zealand moves onto affordable housing we should look at what Len Brown, Labour and the Green taliban are actually proposing…building up not out…and how that has worked out around the world…like in the UK:

The Policy Exchange report – Create Streets by Alex Morton and Nicholas Boys Smith – details how terrible tower blocks are for urban living. As well as ruining our city horizons, they encourage crime and social alienation. Residents of high-rise blocks are more liable to stress, mental health difficulties, and marriage breakdowns. Children living in tower blocks suffer from increased hyperactivity, hostility and juvenile delinquency – even when you adjust for socio-economic status.

Tower blocks are lethal, too: last week, an inquest opened into the 2009 fire in Lakanal House, in Camberwell, south London, which killed six people. With only one stairwell, it was hard for people to get out, and falling debris from the first fire set off many more fires. The tower was due to be demolished but Southwark Council had decided to refurbish it instead. And still the towers go on being built: between 2003 and 2007, there was a seven-fold increase in high-rise building. 

Labour, Greens and Len Brown talk of higher density housing, by building up around rail corridors…when the reality is that housing like that being built around Flat Bush is far preferable…if only intransigent politicians would free up land.

Tower blocks aren’t even that good at providing high-density housing. With all the dead, unused land that surrounds their footprints, their average density – 75 to 200 flats per hectare – is lower than terraced houses.

Vertical growth is the opposite to the traditional journey of the British city over the last 400 years. From the 17th century until the 1950s, cities expanded outwards, naturally, organically, in a series of low-rise, domestic-scale streets of terraced houses. The British love of the individual family home meant that Georgian, Victorian and Edwardian buildings were kept low-rise – connected to each other horizontally, not vertically.


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  • Dense social housing projects in the 20th century have all been disasters. Take bulldozer through Otara and Cannons Creek and start again.

  • ConwayCaptain

    The UKJ has tried High Rise and low rise up to 4 floors of apartments and they have all turned into cess pits.

  • Patrick

    If Labour build 100,000 houses in 10 years what happens to the average house price? Does it decrease? Will that leave home owners that bought prior to this scheme in negative equity?

  • thor42

    I’ve just been to the website and I did a search for properties costing $150,000 or less.

    I got 8,500 results. Ok, some of those will be bare sections, but there are still HEAPS of good homes in that price range.

    Yes, you may have to move to Wanganui or Levin or somewhere similar, but gee… life’s tough – I can think of far worse!

    It’s a matter of “getting the bit between your teeth” and *going for it*. Don’t be fussy, just *do it* and that includes employment. You may well have to leave your current job to get a cheap house, but that gives you the opportunity to *create your own job* (or business).

  • Hang him

    The solution to the problem with Auckland housing is the market. No one should get a subside to pay there rent, if they can’t afford to pay there rent in Auckland move the where they can afford to pay rent. It will stop the double subsidy of the rest of NZ paying for people to live in Auckland. As for jobs, there are areas of NZ crying out for workers, and as for paying there Dole to live in say Taranaki is still cheaper then paying it in Auckland because we have to subside the rent as well. If no subsidy were being paid for Auckland to live there, rents and housing prices would drop fixing the problem over night. Only people to loss would be property speculators.

  • hagar

    100,000 houses over 10 years = 10,000 per year, = 1 house finished every hour for 24 hours per day, 7 days per week, 52 weeks per year. Voodoo bullshit here