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What intensification could look like for my block in Te Puke

Is Te Puke ready for Intensification – what it means for my block?

“Buyers were now recognizing Te Puke as an area of choice to live.  Our small town has strong community networks and is recognized with; good schooling, transport options, plus areas of strong business growth offering jobs and generally more opportunities.”

Te Puke is Western Bay’s newest Boom Town 7 Dec, 2017, Rochelle Carter from Ray White Te Puke as reported recently, in the NZ Herald says the town was being recognized as a growth area, attracting families keen on the local schooling and businesses transferring to the area. “First-home buyers find they can purchase an existing 800sq m section with a three-bedroom house for mid-$400,000s.

A population explosion of 47,486 additional people in WBDC is expected by 2030. The number of couples without children and particularly an increase in single person households. By 2033 one-third of the region’s population will be aged 65+ years.

What could this mean for my block about 2900 m2 high profile elevated position at the eastern end of Te Puke 750 m from CBD and buses. Located directly opposite Lawrence Oliver Park, a retirement village and the new Te Ara Kahikatea pathway with another walkway and cycleway linking Te Puke to Maketu planned by the Te Ara Kahikatea Society. We have a strong resilient collaborative community who are committed and have willingness to work together to creating great visions for the future. It is exciting to see so much going on here, with new business growth and other developments.

Could this site offer Te Puke our first high density community housing project. Possibly, but not on our own this would require considerable community support. Potentially could provide housing for say 50 or more households.

Perhaps more if neighbors were interested in combining their properties we could create something even more spectacular.

Housing Affordability, Rising rental prices and a desire to minimize and create more livable lifestyles has lead to an  increase in value for Bay of Plenty’s smaller homes, industry experts say. There is a growing trend emerging for people to pool their resources to purchase property together in various forms of co-operatives, co-funding arrangements, and share equity arrangements as a means to share the financial burden of home ownership.

We need to close the gaps that exist between rich and poor to make homes affordable for all. We can do this by adopting innovative and creative solutions, including shared equity arrangements, and ensure that Profits are for Purpose with emphasis on positive social impacts…

I believe we can build healthy sustainable homes for people. We can create, higher density connected communities,  be proactive and overcome these housing un-affordability issues.

Nightingales, is a social enterprise model provide ‘affordable’ high density multi level social housing projects in Australia and are showing fantastic results. “Better, cheaper apartments in Melbourne might provide New Zealand with a model” Will Harvie reports in his article “Architects as ethical developers”

Our cities (and towns) and their inhabitants deserve beautiful, well-built and well-sized homes designed for real life, “reads the Nightingale website. “At present the market is not delivering this and as long as the current formula remains profitable, there is no incentive to raise the bar on the status quo.” The Nightingale social enterprise model starts with about 20 ethical investors. Some of these are architects – mid-career designers who can manage a $1000,000 investment, says Legge – but others are sophisticated investors who lean toward doing good with their money. They found their model works well with “European mode” buildings around five stories high and 20 – 30 units.

Purchasers must also participate in Nightingale’s financial model. They’re getting well designed apartments at low cost, they sign contracts that forbid flipping for a quick buck. Owners must sell to people on the database and they get only the original purchase price, the value of any improvements plus a bump calculated from indexed apartment price rises from the surrounding neighborhood. “There’s no windfall for the first seller.” James Legge spoke at Green Building Council’s Sustainable Housing Summit in June 2017 at Auckland and Christchurch. The beauty in this model is in engaging people in the process of design, by passing some of the underlying costs by combining functions, and limiting the way apartments can be on sold to avoid speculation

Co-living environments provide a greater sense of well-being and other social and health benefits.

A short drive away in Whakatane I discovered a vibrant town with a number of high density luxury apartments. An observation I found while in Singapore recently, was the use of high density housing, coupled with the use of co-shared work, living and revenue producing spaces like incorporating short stay accommodations the inclusion of  hotels within residential complexes. Some even offer co-operative shared revenue potentials and pop-up business enterprises with residents.

I discovered that about 80% of the population in Singapore live in high density housing, and 90 % of occupants actually own the homes they live in. Many are created to incorporate co-living, co-working and co-leisure spaces. Design plans incorporate green spaces, hotels, cafes, retail, bars, restaurants, educational, sports and fitness and other small business activities. High density constructions can be beautiful and environmentally sustainable like the ‘Interlace’ by Ole Scheeren.

We need to grow up – Te Puke has already lost 18 productive orchards to housing developments. Twelve valuable kiwifruit orchards, totaling 70ha, on the eastern side of No 3 Rd between MacLoughlin Drive and Whitehead Avenue in Te Puke, have already succumbed to residential development. Another six orchards further south off No 2 Rd and around Dudley Vercoe Drive face joined the list of extinction due to residential sprawl. New residential sections are priced around $280 K with new house & land packages selling around $550 –  $650 K.

Millennials already know the answer to housing affordability and loneliness

Leading this co-living demand is the rising interest from millennial and generation X travelers who are opting for more nomadic lifestyles, and a desire to not be weighed down with burdens of taking care of stuff including properties. There is a consensus that ‘we are better, healthier and stronger together’. There is a craving for the sense of comfort, safety, security, connected-ness and belonging that is achieved by creating co-living communities. The notion of achieving more – for more people – more affordably – enhanced outcomes – while reducing stress – it just makes sense!

Not all co-living environments are in cities. One of my other previous holidays was to a tiny island called Koh Lanta in Thailand, I have since discovered they too offer a co-work / co-living housing solution called KoHub, they have a strong social impact focus as well.

All co-living arrangements throughout south-east Asia, include a place to sleep, two meals a day, free access to leisure and sports activities, travel and work advice/assistance. Plus world-class facilities, effortless and affordable all inclusive packages at KoHub co-working co-living space. Given the higher influx and need for seasonal and other workers in Te Puke this could be incorporated within any design process.

Student-style accommodation for adults “is going to be the next market” and could help solve London’s housing crisis and regenerate urban centers around the country. Interior designer and TV presenter Naomi Cleaver believes, “It’s between student accommodation and a hotel.” Cleaver has designed numerous student accommodation projects including iQ Shoreditch in London, “It solves a number of problems. It’s safe and well-designed accommodation at an affordable price, but for rent rather than purchase for people who are unable to buy their own property.”

“Preventing urban sprawl through housing developments should be a priority. Mixed land use buildings within the urban zones would improve housing and accessibility to amenities” – Fitting the pieces together 2015 WBOP Vital Signs – Acorn Foundation

Although co-housing is not common in New Zealand and often, does not easily fit the usual planning rules. Apparently a number of strategic and organisational processes established by the Western Bay of Plenty sub-region, suggest that it is well placed to explore the potential demand and opportunities for the supply of cohousing. I would suggest that it is an option for all people including families, young and aging alike. Given the diversity within our population it would be important to optimize and provide more age and disability-friendly environments so we can maximize social and economic benefits moving forward.

Inviting any interested people, potential Partners, anyone who could help enable community such led initiatives, potential joint venture arrangements. Together we could achieve more. Sustainable housing is needed first so as Habitat for Humanity has shown; every $1 invested yields about $4 in societal benefits, including improved employment and education opportunities and a decreased burden on social programming. (Habitat for Humanity’s business model helps low income Canadians through affordable home ownership. See the Boston Consulting Group’s 2015 report: Transforming Lives: The Social Return on Habitat’s Work in Canada).

Anyone interested in more information or to contribute in any way are welcome to email growingenterprizes@gmail.com or phone Tracey 021520539

 

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