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ADU Potential: Have We the Potential to Use Our Existing Stock of Homes to Create a Bigger Stock of Affordable, Fit for Purpose Homes?

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This report examines the potential of existing residential areas, specifically land surrounding and internal space within dwellings, as a resource to expand housing supply.

The conversion of non-residential structures into homes has grown in popularity, yet these often unconsented conversions can lead to subpar living conditions. In Auckland, many such structures were flagged as unfit for habitation. However, the New Zealand Property Investors suggest that heightened regulation could worsen homelessness. Meanwhile, the Ministry of Social Development has controversially housed beneficiaries in such structures, which some claim was a tactic to reduce apparent homelessness statistics. This report seeks to address the paradox of neglecting accessory dwellings as a housing solution while also highlighting the risks of substandard, unconsented units. It primarily investigates the potential of accessory dwelling units (ADUs), like basement conversions and home partitions, and the challenges to unlocking these ‘hidden homes’ to meet housing demands.

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