Dunedin housing

Leith Street houses IMG_8995 (1a)Leith Street student villas to Water of Leith

“Dunedin’s housing stock is older and colder than elsewhere in the country and being part of this trial ensures these issues are considered in a housing warrant of fitness.” –Rebecca Williams, DCC Events and Community Development

Dunedin City Council – Media Release
Housing WOF Trial Results Announced

This item was published on 15 May 2014

The results of a nationwide rental housing ‘warrant of fitness’ field trial have been released. More than 140 rental properties were given the once-over by home assessment experts in Auckland, Tauranga, Wellington, Christchurch and Dunedin earlier this year. The pilot aimed to test whether draft WOF checklists and methods were practical for landlords, assessors and tenants. This is the first step in a collaborative project aimed at making rental housing safer, healthier and more energy efficient. The field trial has not resulted in the immediate issue of a WOF for each home, but it is an important step towards standardising the approach to ensure the credibility of any national WOF scheme.

“This collaborative programme has given us a lot of useful information about the assessment tool and what to do next. The trial has made it clear that a rental housing WOF system would be very useful, helping prospective tenants to make a call on whether a house is safe, healthy and energy efficient, making it warmer and more comfortable to live in. Hopefully, this would mean tenants would stay in their rental home for longer, which is good for both landlords and tenants. We are also grateful for the co-operation of the landlords and tenants who took part in this worthwhile project.” –Dave Cull, Mayor

The rental housing WOF field trial involved the Auckland, Tauranga, Wellington, Christchurch and Dunedin councils, the Accident Compensation Corporation (ACC), the New Zealand Green Building Council and the University of Otago (Wellington). The trial tested a range of criteria that could potentially be included in a housing WOF. It aimed to identify aspects such as average assessment times and how to best communicate results to landlords and tenants. The assessment tool was developed by the NZ Green Building Council and the University of Otago, Wellington, with feedback and input from the five councils and ACC. The steering group behind the WOF survey trial says work is now underway to tweak the WOF checklist.

“We have received good feedback from landlords, tenants and the assessors and we are now going back to look at the checklist and criteria to make sure we have a robust and usable housing WOF for the rental market. The trial was really important so that we could gain an understanding about what is going to work for landlords, assessors and tenants. For a housing WOF to work it has to add value for the landlords and we needed to actually trial the draft WOF checklist and methodology.” –Julie Bennett, University of Otago (Wellington)

Key information gathered from the field trial and subsequent interviews includes:
● Landlords surveyed were supportive of a WOF in New Zealand.
● Landlords surveyed said that they were going to undertake work as a result of the new information from the draft WOF assessment.
● 36% of the homes that went through field trial would pass all of the draft WOF criteria with relatively minor fixes ($50 – $150 worth of materials/hardware estimated).

Examples of items that are attracting most of the attention during this testing phase are whether houses need a fixed form of heating, such as a heat pump or a wood burner, in order to ‘pass’ the WOF. Similarly, one of the requirements of the trial checklist was that all windows have stays for security and to prevent children falling out – however due to difficulties in assessing these, and landlords saying that they were not keen on security stays, the steering group has agreed to drop them from the checklist.

After the inspection system has been refined it will be presented to the participating councils for discussion. Most assessors who were interviewed after the trial said they were willing to make ‘easy’ fixes, while doing the inspections, to make homes compliant. The fixes included installing smoke alarms or smoke alarm batteries, changing light bulbs or adjusting the hot water temperature. Many homes still lack working smoke alarms – despite extensive and ongoing advertising – but the trial also found the overall condition of the homes that participated was good. About 94% of the homes inspected in the field trial did not pass at least one checklist criteria, but most dwellings failed on only a handful of the 31 inspection targets on the WOF checklist. About 36% of homes would pass all the criteria in the draft WOF checklist after just a few minor and inexpensive fixes.

In terms of the next steps for the project, the partners in the project aim to:
● Share the results of the trial, including reporting back to relevant councils.
● Get endorsement/agreement from participating councils on the next steps.
● Continue discussions with Central Government to work towards one WOF tool for NZ.
● Finalise checklists and methodologies.
● Investigate next steps for introduction of a voluntary WOF scheme.

Leith Street houses IMG_9518 (1a)Leith Street villas (1-2 storeys)

Facts and figures from the trial:
● 144 houses inspected.
● The inspection checklist looked at 31 items that covered a wide range of aspects ranging from weathertightness and insulation to ventilation, lighting, heating, condition of appliances and general building safety.
● House age ranged from 1880s to less than 10 years old
● Wide range of houses participated – from detached to apartments.
● Average time to inspect houses – 51 minutes.
● The majority of houses ‘failed’ on only a handful of checklist items.
● Top five checklist items that homes did not pass:
○ 40% of houses did not pass the water temperature check
○ 30% of bedrooms did not have a working smoke alarm within 3m of the bedroom
○ 31% of houses lacked code-compliant handrails and balustrades
○ 37% of houses did not pass the check for having a fixed form of heating
○ 38% of houses did not pass the security stays check

█ Full report at www.dunedin.govt.nz/rentalhousing-wof-pretest

Housing WOF Trial – associated information (PDF, 763 KB)

Contact DCC Manager Events and Community Development on 03 477 4000
DCC Link

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Dundas Street terrace housing IMG_9066 (1a)Dundas Street terraces

### ODT Online Fri, 16 May 2014
Trial shows value in rental housing Wof
By Timothy Brown
None of Dunedin’s houses will pass a rental warrant of fitness if the standards used during a recent trial of scheme are applied. The inspections, carried out by home assessment experts, looked at weather-tightness, insulation and ventilation, lighting, heating, condition of appliances and general building safety.
Read more

Posted by Elizabeth Kerr

*Images by whatifdunedin (2010)

58 Comments

Filed under Architecture, Business, Construction, DCC, Democracy, Design, Economics, Geography, Heritage, New Zealand, People, Politics, Project management, Property, Site, Town planning, Urban design, What stadium

58 responses to “Dunedin housing

  1. Rob Hamlin

    I believe that this will only end one way. Both the housing WOF audit process itself and the compulsory repairs/upgrades that follow it are simply too big a ‘stakeholder’ bonanza. Sure it will start with the rental sector to loud cries of approval, but just as we are being warmed up here for the rental sector once the rental sector is ‘in the bag’ murmurs about ‘safety’ and ‘equity’ and how WOF’s should be extended to private houses will begin almost immediately.

    Eventually I believe that WOFs will be required every year for all houses. If the current pattern is continued then virtually no house will pass, and the flow of hefty ‘required repairs by approved suppliers’ coming for the stakeholders will keep on coming. You will be lucky to get away with an annual bill that’s smaller than your rates and some people will be really pinged. Of course if you refuse to comply (pay up) the authorities in this country are becoming increasingly blase about kicking you out of your own home in your underpants, often forever, on the slightest pretext that can be whistled up pronto to persuade you that paying up really is in your best interests – It’s all for your ‘safety’ remember.

    You don’t believe me? Just talk to someone who’s selling a house and is on the receiving end of the ‘required upgrades to insure’ electricians’ and builders’ bonanza. Last year it was electrics – now apparently scrim is suddenly a ‘problem’ for insurance companies. There are plenty of houses about that are tidy but still have their original scrim. Well now, if you are unlucky you will not only have to rewire it, but also completely reline it before you can sell it – and if they find a thread of asbestos or an unexpected test tube ‘that indicates that your home might once have been used as a P lab’ while they are doing so then God help you.

    Do I think rental properties should be of a certain standard? Sure, but I suppose that an assessment of the benefits and pitfalls of this proposed scheme really depend on whether you think the movers and shakers in and around City Halls and the Beehive will be primarily motivated by a desire to help you or screw you and other ‘little people’. I made my mind up firmly on that matter some time ago.

    • alanbec

      Isn’t Wof consumer information for tenants, though? As I understand it, minimum standards for rental accommodation are power points, sink, toilet and wash sink not reticulated through kitchen, whiteware not provided. Frankly, Rob, I’m more concerned with tenants’ wellbeing and Wof is a good guide to renting a house/flat, or choosing not to.

  2. My God! did you read Dave Cull’s comments. I doubt anyone would query the standards set for new constructions. But no building is new forever, and technology will continue to bring about improvements. Take the advent of heat pumps for instance, as opposed to resistance electric heating as an improvement on cost effectiveness. But surely the market is where the rules should be set. It will set the price and standard which the buyer will/can meet. If no buyer, the building will either be upgraded by the owner, replaced or the price reduced. That’s how the market works. Coerce owners into raising a standard simply will exclude a lot of folk from affording accommodation and what then? Would these people have it on their conscience for the homeless? Never even considered. The world is being taken over by the ‘Zombies’.

    • Hype O'Thermia

      “Coerce owners into raising a standard simply will exclude a lot of folk from affording accommodation and what then?” Precisely, Calvin. As a young single I flatted with others in houses that were a long way from that standard, though they were not unusual at the time, either as rentals or as people’s own homes. We didn’t expect to wear cotton shorts/skirts and a summer shirt indoors in the middle of winter. Besides we had more to do than change from summer to winter clothing every time we came indoors or went outside. “Nobody” – nobody in our peer group – had a car so going out meant facing the weather.

      People also made choices, pay more for a better flat or save by renting a dump. For some, that was all they could afford, for others it was a choice so that while young and resilient they could save for OE or a car, or a home of their own, eventually. By forcing up both the standard and therefore the cost of rent, this feelgood nonsense is not protecting people, it is taking away their options.

      “And what then”, Calvin? The general rule of ill-considered feelgoodery is that unintended consequences come along to fill the hole where logic was absent. People currently living in dumps, not happily and not out of willing choice but because it’s the best they can manage, will see the heat pump installed, and the double glazing. And from what vantage point will they observe these improvements? Well, from a relative’s garage, perhaps, or squashed into another family’s living room, or a caravan beside a tent beside a sleepout, sharing the other famlly’s hot water supply that is adequate for one family. ONE family, not an economic refugee camp in one of NZ’s own fair suburbs.

      When I say “fair suburbs” it’s unlikely that these refugee encampments will be evenly spread around the suburbs. I’m guessing they would be absent from Decile 10 suburbs. The further down the food pyramid from caviar to crumbs, the more crumb-eaters trying to exist on fewer and fewer crumbs. Anything new about that?

      • alanbec

        Hype O’Thermia, I too flatted as a Spartan in the days of old (Christchurch). Then, but not now, a landlord could be sued for injury caused by structural negligence. This focussed the landed mind, but ended with ACC. Heatpumps are not universally welcomed by tenants due to cost of running them. Let’s remember the tenant demographic includes young families and the aged. If the ‘Market’ doesn’t like healthful, comfortable housing stock, the Market needs a rocket.

        • alanbec, agree about heat pumps – even if the right unit is fitted correctly for the house type and space, anyone on a low income of merest sort isn’t going to be able to afford the electricity to run it. In the same way they’re most unlikely to be using their oven for cooking (probably using stove top, or microwave if they have one). Across the years since benefit slashes electricity has become a luxury – how sad is that with all that water perpetually pouring into South Island rivers and storage lakes. And the rich getting richer.

        • alanbec

          Elizabeth, re Dundas Street flats. In the 70s, British immigrants would, er, whinge ‘NZ? No terraced housing’, but perked up at Dundas Street, or ‘Coronation’ as the 2 up 1 downs were known. Have they painted the universal red (brick?) in luvverly pastels?

        • Dunedin is distinctive for the number of Victorian and Edwardian era terrace houses it has. These have been recorded by various over the years. The photograph was taken in 2010 when I was doing proposed character area assessments in the campus area.

  3. Hey! our DCC is derelict in its duty. By being so immersed in its feel good duties of care for its citizens, in giving them the ‘circus’ of a stadium, investigating the giving them of a ‘public transport system fit for the 21st century’, and protecting them from the demon landlords with substandard rental housing. All this time they have missed the really big one. Auckland are away ahead of us in this one. It’s covered in depth (pun intended) on the front page of the business section of today’s SST. “Tsunami risk zone huge” shouts the headline. Auckland is at risk, and the population centres involved would need to evacuate immediately they feel a ‘weak rolling earthquake that lasts for more than one minute’. I can’t imagine how that is envisaged when it amounts to maybe half a million or more taking to the streets simultaneously heading for the hills. But the whole prospect calls to mind, what on earth have Dave Cull, Jinty and the other ‘muppets’ been up to? Why have they not been onto this serious possibility for us here in Dunedin? Isn’t it their sworn duty to protect the citizens against absolutely all and every contingency? After all, we could have a ‘weak rolling earthquake’ at any time. Surely, ahead of those other matters this spectre of mass inundation should take precedence over all. Lives are at stake, and all should be warned so as to get their ‘fight or flight’ adrenaline flowing. Surely another few hundred thousand dollars could be found from savings to facilitate a committee responsible for this, without increasing the rates over 3%. We need to know. It would be more beneficial than watching the Highlanders battling to death or glory for us all. In fact they and the stadium would be at risk as well. Oh dear, oh dear, what a worry.

    Eds.- [via Sunday Star-Times]

    AUCKLAND CITY COUNCIL
    Tsunami risk zone huge: Property investors call for the new tsunami evacuation zones to be included on the council’s land information memorandums.
    http://www.stuff.co.nz/national/10053274/Tsunami-risk-zone-huge

  4. While the WELL-PAID councillors, mayor, chief executive, and council staff – the “pretty boys and girls” – are WORRYING about outdoor gas-heaters, coffee tables and chairs, ELIMINATION OF CARS, and improving the delicacies of walkability in the lower Octagon and Stuart Street, near their centrally-heated civic offices (see well-stamped coffee cards, latest shoes and iPhones), there is this priority of a city engagement only a couple of miles away… The hypocrisy is gigantic.

    The 2013 Socioeconomic Deprivation Index shows little has changed in the patterns of poverty in Otago.

    ### ODT Online Sun, 18 May 2014
    Southern suburbs among poorest 10%
    By Timothy Brown
    The results of the latest Socioeconomic Deprivation Index show areas from Queenstown Lakes are among the least deprived in Otago, while Dunedin’s southern suburbs are among the most deprived. […] Areas such as South Dunedin and Caledonian, which were among the most deprived 10% of areas in New Zealand, had been there since the first index was produced after the 1991 census. […] Areas such as the Otago University area, which had moved from a deprivation score of 10 to 9, had experienced some change but ”that movement is minor and doesn’t indicate a change in the area’s character”, [co-researcher and University of Otago health sciences pro-vice-chancellor Prof Peter Crampton] said. ”The overall theme here is one of underlying stability [in deprivation].”
    Read more + Graphic

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    ### ODT Online Sun, 18 May 2014
    South Dunedin and proud
    By Timothy Brown
    Cold, old and rundown – that is how some of South Dunedin’s residents describe the area and it is often how the area is perceived by those outside it. What is not so apparent is the tightness of community, the positivity of residents and the hope each new generation holds for a brighter future. South Dunedin is the most deprived area in Otago, according to the latest Socioeconomic Deprivation Index, and while those South Dunedin residents who spoke to the Otago Daily Times had not heard of the index, its results were unsurprising.
    Read more

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    South Dunedin – Caversham Housing
    Photos by Stewart Harvey

    South Dunedin. Fingall St, 60 to 66. (Photo by Stewart Harvey) (1a)South Dunedin. Prendergast St, 2 to 18 (Photo by Stewart Harvey) 001 (1a)South Dunedin. Fitzroy St cnr Thorn St, Caversham (Photo by Stewart Harvey) 101205 (1a)South Dunedin. South Road, 356, 3 flats & Church, Caversham (Photo by Stewart Harvey) 101205 (1a)South Dunedin. Macbeth Street 1 & 3, Caversham (Photo by Stewart Harvey) 101205 (1a)South Dunedin. Eastbourne Street, 60, Caversham, 101205 (Photo by Stewart Harvey) (1a)

    From the top:
    60-66 Finegal Street, South Dunedin
    2-18 Prendergast Street, South Dunedin
    Cnr Fitzroy Street and Thorn Street, Caversham
    (356) South Road, 3 flats and church, Caversham
    1-3 Macbeth Street, Caversham
    60 Eastbourne Street, Caversham

  5. Elizabeth

    Old, cold and unhealthy homes in Dunedin

    PSO - Out in the Cold (cover)

    ### otago.ps.org.nz (this week)
    Out in the Cold
    Presbyterian Support Otago research into the state of low-income private rental housing in Dunedin shows many families are now living in houses in a far worse condition than they were in an earlier study 10 years ago.
    Now 23% of those homes surveyed failed to pass our reasonable rental standard.
    █ Read the report here. (PDF, 2.53 MB)

    PSO Website: https://otago.ps.org.nz/

    ### dunedintv.co.nz August 26, 2014 – 6:04pm
    Presbyterian Support Otago backs proposed housing warrant of fitness scheme
    Presbyterian Support Otago has thrown its weight behind a proposed warrant of fitness scheme for rental housing in Dunedin. The organisation has undertaken research, which it says highlights the deterioration of the city’s rental housing stock. And those involved hope to kick-start local conversation around housing with a new report.
    Video

    ****

    ”No-one should be forced to live in a house that’s not weather-tight, cannot be adequately heated or have electrical safety issues because of their financial circumstances.” –Gillian Bremner, PSO

    ### ODT Online Wed, 27 Aug 2014
    Low-income housing standards declining
    By John Lewis on
    The state of low-income private rental housing in Dunedin continues to decline at an alarming rate, Presbyterian Support Otago has revealed.
    An ”Out in the Cold” survey, conducted last year and released yesterday, investigated the quality of home heating, insulation, safety, soundness, value and the need for a common housing warrant of fitness.
    Read more

  6. Elizabeth

    Another approach to Dunedin housing.

    ### dunedintv.co.nz September 18, 2014 – 5:42pm
    High Street communal housing development to be considered next week
    The proposal to establish a communal housing development at the former High Street School will be considered next week.
    Video

    ****

    ### ODT Online Fri, 22 Aug 2014
    Co-housing plan called courageous
    By Debbie Porteous
    Dunedin’s first proposed co-housing development has received mass support from submitters. […] Fifty-four submissions were received on the application from Urban Co-housing Otepoti for consent to build the 26-unit co-housing neighbourhood on the site of the former High Street School. Co-housing is a combination of private homes and shared common spaces, such as gardens, and facilities such as kitchen and dining areas. The proposal has been developed by a group of about 12 Dunedin families who bought the site with a view to building a shared community.
    Read more

    • Elizabeth

      ### ODT Online Thu, 25 Sep 2014
      Category 2 status for school gateway
      By Rebecca Fox
      The war memorial and gates on the site of the former High Street School in Mornington have received category 2 historic listing [by Heritage New Zealand (formerly known as NZ Historic Places Trust)]. Completed in 1926, the memorial and gates bordering High and Alva Sts were found to have aesthetic, architectural, historical and social value. Architect and Urban Cohousing Otepoti member Tim Ross said the memorial and gates were crucial aspects of the historic nature of the site.
      Read more

  7. Elizabeth

    The new development would lift the total number of residential rooms on site to 31, which was more than the 28 allowed there by district plan rules.

    ### ODT Online Fri, 19 Sep 2014
    Developer told to rethink apartment plans
    By Chris Morris
    The developer behind a proposed three-storey student apartment and commercial building in North Dunedin has been told to think again. John Cutler, of Cutler Investments Ltd, has applied for resource consent to build the mixed three-storey residential and commercial building on residential land at 709 Great King St. The application is to be considered by the Dunedin City Council’s hearings committee next week, but consultant planner Nigel Bryce has concluded the committee cannot consider granting consent for the ”unacceptable” development.
    Read more

    Related Post and Comments:
    6.1.14 George Street: Two new uglies (thanks DCC, no City Architect…)

  8. Hype O'Thermia

    Jeez, can’t these people count? Or is it another manifestation of CTS – Chronic Try-on Syndrome?

  9. Elizabeth

    ### ODT Online Thu, 25 Sep 2014
    New apartment plans able to be considered
    By David Loughrey
    New plans for proposed student apartments in North Dunedin appear to have smoothed the path for their developer. John Cutler, of Cutler Investments Ltd, applied for consent to build a three-storey residential building at 709 Great King St, behind a commercial building that formerly housed Civic Video. But the developer came back with new plans yesterday that appeared to have a good chance of approval.
    Read more

  10. Elizabeth

    Off the planet. Let’s pray for Greater Dunedin, the cult to end the City.

    Cr Wilson asked what would stop the development being taken over in the future by others, such as a religious group, a gang or a cult.

    ### ODT Online Fri, 26 Sep 2014
    Cohousing project goes to hearing
    By Debbie Porteous
    Cohousing is a new concept for Dunedin and one people should be excited about, not worried about, supporters say. City planners recommended that consent for the high-density project be granted, but some neighbours had concerns about the effects of the number of houses and their design and size, the committee heard yesterday. The committee has adjourned and will visit the site before making its decision.
    Read more

  11. Hype O'Thermia

    Couldn’t “a religious group, a gang or a cult” purchase one of the existing blocks of flats and self-contained apartments? I think we need to be very nervous. I for one won’t sleep tonight.

    • Elizabeth

      Fearsome world. IS on manoeuvre at a farm next door in Middlemarch should not be countenanced under any circumstances, Mr Obama said.

  12. What’s Cr Wilson’s concern about the possibility of the complex being taken over by a religious group, a gang or a cult? David Benson-Pope doesn’t see that as a problem, and he is a person who knows a thing or two about ‘cults’. Is she blind or simply can’t see that that concept already exists in Dunedin with the full blessing of her council. There are several, the latest being the ‘Somerset Village’ occupied by a cult of the aged. I don’t hear of the area being subject to dangerous use of speeding ‘zimmer frames’, late night hilarity (not that there isn’t any) or other disturbing influences. Why now the concern with this concept? Middlemarch must have a stultifying effect on some.

    • Elizabeth

      When one is a planning commissioner, one is not a councillor. As hard as that may be. Poor Ms Wilson, that hare-brained mouth again.

  13. Elizabeth

    ### ODT Online Sun, 19 Oct 2014
    More DCC help for cold houses?
    By Staff reporter – The Star
    Insulation schemes have not solved the problem of old, cold accommodation in Dunedin, with a recent report uncovering ”hundreds, if not thousands” of ”terminal” houses in the city. But Mayor Dave Cull tells The Star more help could be at hand. Mayor Dave Cull says the Dunedin City Council could consider expanding its insulation scheme to include double-glazing and other home improvements.
    Read more

  14. Reverse sensitivity – when developments affect existing activities – could be an issue for the proposed Butts Rd flats. –Nigel Bryce, consultant planner for DCC

    ### ODT Online Sun, 9 Nov 2014
    Reverse sensitivity could be issue
    By Debbie Porteous on
    A developer wanting to build student flats near a Dunedin quarry needs to tighten up a no-complaints covenant before consent is approved, a planning consultant says. Hawkdun Properties Ltd proposes to build 19 flats around the former ”fever hospital”, near Palmer’s quarry and Logan Park High School.
    Read more

    Hawkdun Properties Ltd (2122127) – NZ Companies Office
    Directors: Fiona Broad, Johann Davie-Jakobs
    Shareholders: Alistair Evans Broad, Fiona Broad, Robyne Jakobs, Johann Davie-Jakobs

    Alistair Broad is the husband of Cr Hilary Calvert.

  15. Elizabeth

    DCC’s consultant planner Nigel Bryce endorsed granting of consent after Palmer’s representatives drafted a more robust covenant acceptable to Hawkdun Properties.

    ### ODT Online Tue, 11 Nov 2014
    Flats ‘would change city’s reputation’
    By Chris Morris
    Hawkdun Properties Ltd – headed by property owner and businessmen Alistair Broad – has applied for consent to build 19 flats around the former “fever hospital” beside Logan Park. If approved, the “significant” development was expected to cost about $4 million, excluding land costs, and provide 80 rooms for students wanting to live in the area.
    The development would surround the former Pelichet Bay Infectious Diseases Hospital and morgue, which was built in 1908 and was a category 1-listed historic place.
    Read more

    █ Heritage New Zealand | List item 9575

    Butts Road development proposal.Butts Rd apartment proposal (site fmr Pelichet Bay Infectious Diseases Hospital, Cat I)

  16. Elizabeth

    ### dunedintv.co.nz November 12, 2014 – 5:48pm
    DCC considers new accommodation project near Logan Park
    A resource consent application for new accommodation near Logan Park is being considered by the Dunedin City Council’s hearings committee.
    Video

  17. Elizabeth

    Proposal: 26 architecturally designed houses in four blocks on the site and use existing school buildings as communal buildings, including dining rooms, meeting rooms and garden areas.

    ### ODT Online Fri, 28 Nov 2014
    Cohousing group explains point of difference
    By Debbie Porteous
    A group planning New Zealand’s second co-housing community is unapologetic about trying to do something different in Dunedin. Urban Cohousing Otepoti Ltd returned yesterday to address a Dunedin City Council panel which is deciding whether to grant consent for the over-density development on the old High St School site in the central city.
    They appeared at the hearing to respond to concerns raised during the process, including about the height of a block of proposed houses on the High St side of the site and density, and demands from Heritage New Zealand to change their plans to protect a memorial arch on the property’s High St-Alva St corner.
    Read more

    The bulk and location design as far as streetscape values go is rather unfortunate (even when considering the target market potential); as is the downplay of the memorial gateway which the complex turns its back to in poor consequence for public/private orientation to entry point and site navigation.
    The site itself is excellent but the proposal brings very little to the precinctual environs. Architectural values are low and rather dated – increasing density like this means higher design values are required. The repetitious elements for individual units are over-deployed and there are scale issues. It’s not the worst townhouse development seen but it could be far better – not necessarily at higher cost for the improvement. Looks like the result of ‘committee design’. Apologies, Tim Ross. You needed greater design freedom for articulation and modelling, and the investors’ (including your own) higher commitment to architectural landscape values. The whole design looks institutional rather than ‘community enclave’.

    High Street cohousing proposal [DCC documents]Proposed residential complex to High St, corner Alva St, showing poor relationship to memorial gateway. [DCC application documents]

  18. Elizabeth

    The community could house both title-holders and renters, and it may be that ”ethical investors” could hold titles and rent the homes.

    ### ODT Online Thu, 18 Dec 2014
    Group celebrates High St co-housing plan approval
    By Debbie Porteous and David Loughrey
    The South Island’s first co-housing community has been given approval to set up in Dunedin. Members of Urban Cohousing Otepoti Ltd, founded by a group of Dunedin families who will own houses in the High St community, were celebrating last night. […] The group would wait for the 15-day appeal period to finish, then “regroup” after Christmas to consider the next move.
    Read more

  19. Elizabeth

    ### dunedintv.co.nz December 18, 2014 – 6:44pm
    Dunedin’s first co-housing development set to go ahead
    Dunedin’s first co-housing development is set to go ahead, with the proposal securing resource consent from the Dunedin City Council.
    Video

    • Elizabeth

      Tue, 14 Jun 2016
      ODT: Co-housing group signs contract
      A Dunedin co-housing project that aims to build energy-efficient, sustainable housing on the former High Street School site has taken another step forward after the signing of a building contract. Urban Cohousing Otepoti Ltd, which bought the school in 2013, plans to turn the 5000sq m site into an inter-generational co-housing neighbourhood that would encourage social interaction and be based on ecological values.

    • Elizabeth

      ### dunedintv.co.nz Tue, 5 Jul 2016
      Building to start soon at High Street Co-housing project
      After more than three years of planning, a co-housing project in the central city is close to becoming a reality. The site on High Street will soon be transformed into one of the country’s few co-housing developments. And its future residents can’t wait to move in.
      Ch39 Link

      Channel 39 Published on Jul 4, 2016
      Building to start soon at High Street Co-housing project

  20. Elizabeth

    Cull is on the vote catching path with a vengeance. Is that two (warm) apartments I can see on the aerial map of Auckland, owned by Mayor Cull ? Ah yeah, investing in the nearest and dearest seems like a bad idea. Anyway, what would you use those ‘two’ for ?

    As Mr Cull spoke yesterday, Green Party co-leader Metiria Turei sat in the back row, knitting.

    ### ODT Online Sat, 17 Oct 2015
    Cold houses ‘community shame’
    By Shawn McAvinue
    Cold and damp houses in Dunedin are a “community shame”, Dunedin Mayor Dave Cull says […] Dunedin had about 18,000 cold and damp homes, which could not be made warm and dry at a reasonable cost.
    Read more

    • @Elizabeth
      October 17, 2015 at 8:29 pm
      I don’t doubt that Cull is on a vote catching mission, but like Hype O’Thermia, I believe that the issue of maintaining one’s comfort level in one’s home is a matter for the individual and the owner. The bigger issues that the government should be addressing are the causes and trends in home ownership in NZ. I see detrimental effects for New Zealanders in these changes in property ownership especially if the trend indicates increases in overseas owners.
      Note this:
      ‘The number of homeowners in New Zealand continues to fall, with fewer than half of all Kiwis owning their own property, new Census figures show.

      In 2013, 49.8 per cent of people aged 15 years and over owned or partly owned the home they lived in, compared with 53.2 per cent in 2006, according to census results released by Statistics New Zealand today. This is a big change in such a short period.

      We should be more concerned wirh this ‘sustained’ trend, its underlying causes and effects.
      “The decline in home ownership occurred across all age groups, from those in their 20s to those in their 70s, with the largest falls for those in their 30s and 40s,” said Gareth Meech, Census 2013 general manager.

      “In 2013, 43.0 per cent of people aged 30-39 years owned or partly owned their home, down from 54.6 per cent in 2001.”

      One should ask who are the new owners of the properties and where do they live. Who are the beneficiaries of this change and what are the effects on the residents of Dunedin.

      [click to enlarge]
      HOME OWNERSHIP AND RENTAL ACCOMMODATION NZ small

      • Hype O'Thermia

        I’m not that bothered about whether people rent or own. Me, I like to put down deep deep roots, I’m one of those people who plant fruit and trees expecting to reap the benefit.
        Other people have occupations that involve moving to take up opportunities for career advancement and further education, or they want to experience life in other towns, other countries. Tying themselves up in the inflexibility of house ownership – sure you can sell, but how fast without losing on the deal, when the time comes? – isn’t all that desirable, especially if they’re not into house decorating and gardening, they just want an affordable pleasant place to live in.
        House ownership is a NZ tradition like rugby-racing-and-beer, two of which I am happy to avoid. Many of our traditions have changed. Renting for life is nothing strange in many other countries, it’s not the mark of failure, it’s a plain ordinary way of living.
        What’s wrong in NZ is the way we do renting – long term leases are scarce as hens’ dentures. This leads to uncertainty, a shade of wariness about committing to the property and the neighbourhood because after a couple of experiences of having to move it’s safer not to get too attached. Social bonds are weakened in this situation.
        The other thing is poverty, it’s not the crappy houses that are all poor people can afford.
        There are some people who choose crappy, and even choose to live rough because they prioritise drink and drugs above all else, and rent is a waste of good getting-wasted money.
        Most people living in crappy houses aren’t like that. They’re just poor.
        An increase in the minimum wage is unaffordable, we’ve been told. LIVING wage, income sufficient for a person to live on with dignity, eating nutritious food and living in a house that is fit for purpose of human accommodation, is TOO EXPENSIVE. Yes, I’m shouting.

        And it’s not just child poverty, it’s Mum and Dad and children poverty. It includes Auntie and Uncle and Nana and Grandpa. It needs fixing, even if that means the 1% end up owning less that 50% of the world’s worldly possessions. It needs fixing even if temps don’t get $10,000 a week like Mr Hoshek the temporary head of finance for SDHB, but the lowest paid in the health sector get fair pay, the Living Wage at least.
        It needs fixing. Please let’s stop blithering on about “community responsibility” and greedy landlords – sure there are some greedy people in every role, including politics and bureaucracies and everywhere a person gets access to OPM (other people’s money). It’s poverty that keeps people living in crappy houses. Landlords who can’t get tenants because prospective tenants sign up for better homes because they can afford to, will shape up or ship out of the business. Warrants of building fitness are bollocking nonsense, suitable only for massaging the consciences of people who want to look as if they’re achieving something, without the inconvenience of meaningful action. Watch who’s keenest on that idea if you don’t believe me.

        • Warrants of fitness for houses are in essence ‘make work’ schemes for bureaucrats. Just like registrations for cats and the notion of expecting cat owners to confine them to their own premises. Utter crap. The most immediate effect of both is a rate hike for the rest of us.

          {Link added. -Eds}

  21. Elizabeth

    A thought for Cull’s making of cold (and flooded) houses!

    Dilbert 17.10.15 via Stuff.co.nz[dilbert.com Scott Adams] Necessary selfishnessDilbert – Necessary selfishness
    dilbert.com Scott Adams [via Stuff.co.nz 17.10.15 ]

  22. Cold houses ‘community shame’

    By Shawn McAvinue on Sat, 17 Oct 2015
    News: Dunedin

    Cold and damp houses in Dunedin are a ”community shame”, Dunedin Mayor Dave Cull says.

    The most interesting thing in this report was this:-
    ‘As Mr Cull spoke yesterday, Green Party co-leader Metiria Turei sat in the back row, knitting.’
    Is she a modern day Madame Thérèse Defarge perhaps?

    But much more importantly and to the point was the submission by Hype.O.Thermia on Sun, 18/10/2015 – 1:25pm.
    Right on Mr Hype O’Thermia.

  23. Calvin Oaten

    If one studies the trend in home ownership by NZ’s citizens you will find an uncanny parallel with the lending policies of the banking institutions. The property boom (balloon) coincides with the freedom of debt and the unreal interest rates. Banks can – and do – borrow vast sums of money from overseas sources at fractional rates of interest (thanks to the absurd US Fed Central Bank ZIRP – zero interest rate policies) and on-sell at very attractive rates and still pocketing very handsome margins. Clients only have to be able to fog a mirror to be eligible for multithousand dollar mortgages. Just take a look at the profit results of all the banks over recent years.

    The result is that property prices have been on a steep climb, way beyond inflation and wage growth. This squeezes out of the market a growing percentage of citizens, hence the falling ownership stats. The gap is filled by overseas buyers with access to overseas capital, recognising a relatively good investment to park the cheap money in and reap the capital gain, which in turn is fostered by their actions.

    All this seems a sort of ‘nirvana’, particularly in Auckland and Central Otago, centred on Queenstown. But one has to realise this is an engineered situation, not the result of free market capitalism which is where true values are determined. None more so than the price of money. That is what should determine interest (price of money) rates, the market, not some ‘gnomes’ sitting around a mahogany table.

    We now see the world awash with $trillions of debt all interred in inflated value items such as houses and contents. People have been seduced by false value credit into spending by debt on things they can’t afford for stuff they don’t need, because they can. The credit cards are maxed out, the mortgages are bloated, they are running flat out in two jobs desperately trying to stay afloat. When the music stops, watch out! The pain and devastation will be tremendous when the figurative plug is pulled and all the credit (created out of the ether, un-backed by industry or production) creates a gigantic vortex as it spirals down the plug hole. House values will go with it as will the mortgages, credit card debts, interest free terms and hire purchases. Insolvencies and bankruptcies will become the flavour of the week. It won’t be pretty, but it will be real. When the history is written it will be seen as the greatest economic depression the world has seen.

    That is my rant for the week and it has only just begun.

    • Hype O'Thermia

      Wanna invest in some tulip bulbs, Calvin?

      • Gurglars

        Unfortunately, Calvin and Hype, I believe that you are absolutely correct.

        The role of the banks is to inflate the housing bubble at the expense of supporting businesses, to ensure that personal wealth at the moment mainly tied up in housing is decimated when the property crash comes.

        Interest rate rises of 2% would be enough to bring down an enormous housing crisis, but that may only be one of the triggers.

        It’s all about making each and every individual beholden and reliant upon the state for support. Socialism by stealth. Government control, higher taxes and more regulation is the aim, led by those supposed protectors of the free world, the UN.

        And the boss?

        Put a slim moustache on Helen Clark and you’ll soon see the leader of the (master) or perhaps better defined mistress race.

        Helen of Troy once started a (then) major war between Greece and Troy.

        Helen of Mt Albert is about to show you the smoke and mirrors of democracy and the modern way to win a war.

        In New Zealand you have to be elected to lead.

        But in New York the leader of Agenda 21, the subjugation of the human race, is set to be won by an unelectable.

  24. Elizabeth

    More from Cr Kate on incidentals:
    14.10.15 ODT: Legal advice sought on controlling cats

    Received from Douglas Field
    Mon, 19 Oct 2015 at 1:08 p.m.

    Christmas Kate put her foot in - again

    • Diane Yeldon

      Australia is very tough on cat control. On the grounds that pet cats are destructive to wild life. I think it’s quite a different matter in New Zealand, as both our bush and urban habitat will support large numbers of rats and mice. Apart from micro-chipping, regulating cat ownership is likely to target (and oppress) responsible cat owners. (My own cats are much too well fed to be bothered much with killing anything.) It’s the people who dump kittens, thoughtlessly feed strays or don’t neuter their pets who are the problem and they are unlikely to comply with any new rules. There are so many cat owners in New Zealand that any politician who tries to make cat ownership more difficult or expensive is likely to be voted out. A knee-jerk reaction to any kind of social or local government problem always seems to be MORE REGULATION!! Bad idea. For the DCC to take the responsibility for rounding up strays and getting rid of ferals would be a better start.

      • Right on Diane
        Would need an army of cat control gestapo looking under every bush and up every tree to police – either that or mass catslaughter of any cat daft enough to walk the streets. Garfield would object. Even Kate would understand.

      • Hype O'Thermia

        The cost of implementing and inspecting this nutty cat registration program would be better spent on free or subsidised pet cat desexing. I’ve known so many people who delay getting their cat desexed because they can’t rustle up the money before that cat becomes sexually active, then there are dear little kittens to be given away to others in the economic peer group, and keep one or two because they’re so sweet….. and so on.
        The SPCA with its no kill policy courts popularity with sentimental folk, and in the process shuffles the problem of unwanted cats onto “the community”. Tell your kids you’re getting the extra cats killed / take them to the SPCA who will “find them a nice new home”? Can’t afford to keep them or desex them, SPCA’s response is “it’s your responsibility to get them euthanased”. So… take them somewhere out of town where “they will look after themselves”? Put them in a sack and drop it off a bridge? Discharge firearm in built-up area?

        I’ve never understood why the Chinese idea of “barefoot doctors” never caught on. Likewise the Fred Hollows model of training people to treat 3rd world blind people, which is I’ve been told not up to the standards NZers expect. So we progressively lose sight and become more handicapped, lose jobs, miss out on so many aspects of life because we can’t afford private treatment and have to wait so very long for the public system to oblige.

        What’s this got to do with cats? Well, vets are highly trained because they need to treat a variety of animals with every injury and disease that present at the clinic.

        Training specialist cat / dog desexers can’t be that expensive or take nearly as long. Anyone with a particularly precious pedigree with other health issues will hardly by likely to take it to the “barefoot vet” desex caravan. But the majority of young animals are desexed without complications. So why not stop faffing around wasting time and money, even on the talky-talky and generation of reports on cat registration, and get on with purposeful action?

  25. Elizabeth

    Received from John Evans
    Mon, 19 Oct 2015 at 6:17 a.m.

    ### Stuff.co. nz Last updated 07:04 19/10/2015
    Ex-Aucklanders cast doubt on Waikato’s affordable lifestyle
    By Aaron Leaman
    Less than a year after shifting south, former Aucklanders are contemplating a move back to the supercity, saying life in the provinces is unaffordable. Sarah Kull and her husband moved from Auckland’s Mount Wellington to Pokeno in January this year, attracted by the village atmosphere and realistic house prices. But Kull said their Waikato dream had quickly soured, with the couple hit by spiralling rates bills. It’s a scenario shared by dozens of new arrivals who have seen their rates bill double in less than a year.
    Read more

    • Diane Yeldon

      I’ve made the public comment on and off for over 30 years now that paying for local government costs via a tax on property (which is what rates are) plus a tax on a tax (the GST on rates) is horrendously unfair. It takes no account of a person’s ability to pay. And people are financially penalized for their praiseworthy efforts of improving their own land, often particularly severely in the case of rural land or lifestyle blocks.
      Why is there no change? Because governments (and it doesn’t matter which parties are in power) know that a tax on land is super easy to collect. Pay up or lose the property. And central government wants that GST.
      Differential rating is a very handy ‘divide and conquer’ weapon. I’ve seen councils sock one zone with a big increase one year – eg commercial zoning, and they all scream while everyone in other zones takes cover but then get their turn another year. If there was a poll tax of all residents, it would be clear just how much local councils were spending – and then everyone might all together scream at the council to restrict their expenditure to better match residents’ pockets.
      It’s already the case that you have to be rich to be able to buy a home in some places. But it’s also getting harder and harder for anyone but the rich to hold on to a home they own.
      This is all about greed and abuse of authority and power, not justice.

      • russandbev

        Rates are way easier to collect than tax, but it seems that rates can also be avoided if you know how – exactly like how people that spend their lives gathering cash by working in areas that are non-productive know how to avoid paying income tax. Do you really think that some of Dunedin’s GOB’s pay their fair share of income tax? And do you think that there are those that intimately know the DCC systems can avoid paying rates? Answer is, of course. Fairness and application in paying taxes and rates to all has nothing to do with making heaps of money.

  26. Elizabeth

    Douglas has added a graph from Te Ara to one of his earlier comments today on this thread – showing the rates of home ownership and rental accommodation in New Zealand from 1916 up until today.

  27. Elizabeth

    A rental WoF would require basic standards for things like ventilation, heating, safety and hygiene in a rental property.

    ### ODT Online Thu, 17 Dec 2015
    Rental ‘WoF’ planned for Dunedin
    Dunedin and Wellington city councils are working on a rental warrant of fitness, which will require basic standards to be met in rental properties. They are being helped by the He Kainga Oranga/Housing and Health Research Programme based at the University of Otago (Wellington campus), which has been funded by the Health Research Council of New Zealand to study the effects of introducing a rental housing WoF.
    Read more

    ● The timing of the WoF’s introduction remains unconfirmed.

  28. Elizabeth

    ### dunedintv.co.nz Friday, December 18, 2015
    Changes could take time under new rental Warrant of Fitness
    The University of Otago is working with the Dunedin City Council on a rental Warrant of Fitness to be introduced next year. Researchers plan to involve rental properties around the city as they study current living conditions. But it’s expected to take some time before any real changes are made.
    Ch39 Link

    39 Dunedin Television Published on Dec 17, 2015
    Changes could take time under new rental Warrant of Fitness

  29. Gurglars

    Is there any way we can get a WOF on researchers?

  30. Elizabeth

    Good to see Hilary Calvert (as an individual) taking a stand on this housing and investment matter.
    [btw…. Hope she runs for the mayoralty and that Lee Vandervis gives his support.]

    Tue, 14 Jun 2016
    ODT: Council to present submission on healthy homes Bill
    The Dunedin City Council will personally hand over its submission on the Healthy Homes Guarantee Bill while pushing for stronger measures to protect residential tenants. Councillors debated the submission at yesterday’s council finance committee meeting …. [The councillors] present unanimously supported it, with the exceptions of Crs Hilary Calvert and Andrew Whiley, who abstained as they owned rental properties and felt it was a conflict of interest.

    ### dunedintv.co.nz Tue, 14 June 2016
    Concerns raised about council submission
    A handful of city councillors have stepped aside in a discussion surrounding a proposal that will impact rental property owners. Dunedin City Council’s finance committee has passed a motion to send a councillor to Parliament to make a submission on the Healthy Homes Bill. But one of those who withdrew from the conversation says the submission is flawed.
    Ch39 Link

    Channel 39 Published on Jun 13, 2016
    Concerns raised about council submission

    ****

    █ 13/06/2016 DCC Finance Committee
    Agenda and Reports
    View HTML | Download PDF (1.2MB)

    Go to Item 6 (pages 28-34) : Submission to the Government Administration Select Committee on the Healthy Homes Guarantee Bill (No 2)

    ****

    See also:

    █ 08/06/2016 DCC Community and Environment Committee
    Supplementary Agenda
    Go to Item 6 (pages 4-15) : Local Government New Zealand Social Housing Forum
    A report from Cr Jinty MacTavish regarding the Forum, held in Wellington on 16 March 2016.
    View HTML | Download PDF (1.2MB)

  31. Elizabeth

    A complete waste of space sending MacTavish who DOES NOT KNOW FINANCE OR THE PROPERTY MATRKET.

    How laughable is this city council.

  32. Gurglars

    No Elizabeth, but her agenda including Agenda 21 is to interact with other uneducated zealots determined to create a green utopia and continue to stuff up what was a great little city. On present observations our little city is starting to look like a ghost town. Commercial buildings unrented, thoroughfares blocked up with curbing and mudtanks blocked up with incompetence.

  33. Elizabeth

    DUNEDIN RENTAL HOUSING : PROFITEERING and SPECULATION
    We are not immune, we are simply used and fried.

    Tue, 5 Jul 2016
    ODT: Otago new darling of property investors
    A dive in rental housing yields has caused investors to shy away from Auckland and its high prices, in favour of Otago, where more affordable housing offers yields more than double Auckland’s. […] Auckland property investors were taking a hit on their theoretical yield in the rental market at 3.18%, while “the star performer” in investment property was Otago, showing an average yield of 7.32%.

  34. Elizabeth

    MAJOR RUCTION required for affordability ?!

    Mayor Cull— “I know enough about the law to know we can’t impose it at a local level.”

    Thu, 14 Jul 2016
    Ructions over rental fitness scheme
    Seven months after the University of Otago announced it was working with the Dunedin City Council to develop a warrant of fitness scheme for rental houses, the parties are at odds over whether it can be made mandatory. […] The researchers were having “similar issues” with the Wellington City Council.

    █ The warrant of fitness involves basic standards for things like ventilation, hygiene, heating and safety. […] Inspections would only be initiated when a tenancy changed hands.

  35. Hype O'Thermia

    A.k.a how to make more renters homeless. Dumb scheme. By all means issue w.o.f. so tenants know what they’re renting before they sign up. Not everyone house-hunts in person for rentals and some make up a group where only one person is in the town to secure a flat . But make it mandatory and there will be better homes, sure, but what good is that if they’re unaffordable? Fact of life – poor people have worse housing and worse choices of good nutrition and have to stay away from the doctor unless they’re very sick. Higher rents means worse than that standard for food and health, or living in cars and garages and someone else’s already full house.

    Well-meaning but dumb.

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