Preferences for medium density housing in New Zealand
Peer reviewed, Journal article
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Medium density housing (MDH) typologies are not widely used in New Zealand in comparison with other places. With current pressures to build housing in the places people want to live, interest in these forms of housing has surged. Government regulators and housing agencies, as well as many private developers, understand that MDH can help use land and infrastructures more efficiently and create liveable neighbourhoods. Nevertheless, there are still strong preferences amongst housing consumers for standalone dwellings. In an increasingly diverse society, little seems to have changed in the forms of MDH that housing providers create. The study reported in this paper interrogates the needs and preferences of people who have previous experience of living in MDH as well as those who may be considering it. Interview respondents were selected around four demographic dimensions; gender, ethnicity, whether they are property owners or renters and their prior experience of living in MDH. The interviewees were invited to provide their preferences around eight different MDH characteristics, first unconstrained by financial costs and then a second time, where costs were limited. As a pilot study, the number of respondents is small. Nevertheless, the results can be seen to illuminate the most important MDH characteristics across the diverse respondent group as well as areas where they differ. The findings will be of interest to other housing researchers and housing providers.