A vibrant and healthy community attracts people who need housing that varies in size, affordability and design to fit their needs. A diversity of housing types adds variety and supports the development of complex and diverse neighbourhoods, especially in town centres.

By providing different house types a range of potential buyers are attracted to settle in established neighbourhoods and new subdivisions. To some extent the dwelling type dictates the bedroom numbers and likely potential buyers – for example single people, couples with no child or older people. Not everyone wants or is able to afford to live in a four-bedroom stand-alone dwelling.

To ensure that growing townships can supply land to house people in an affordable manner, we need to encourage a healthy mix of housing types, ranging in size from two to five bedrooms.

For example, local families may benefit for having smaller, more compact housing in their township as this provides options for family members like older parents or children moving out of home to live nearby.

Well-designed and constructed higher-density housing can provide security, privacy and convenience similar to standalone houses. Compact housing can also have lower maintenance and operating costs, while being located close to community facilities.

Here are some common housing types:

Housing density type A

Type A: Single, stand-alone dwelling. Common housing type, with a single, sometimes two-storey, dwelling on a residential sized section ranging of 600-1200m2

Housing density type A2

Type A2: Infill housing – stand-alone dwelling and granny flat. As in A, but with granny flat of no more than 70m2 in the back.

Housing density type A3

Type A3: Infill housing – stand-alone dwelling and townhouse. Sufficiently sized section divided in half to accommodate a new townhouse on the back section, while retaining existing stand-alone dwelling in the front.

Housing density type B1

Type B1: Medium density housing (stand-alone). Smaller units on low-maintenance sections of no more than 500m2.

Housing density type B2

Type B2: Medium density housing (attached). Standard section with higher density buildings. In this example these are two single duplex units on low maintenance sections of no more than 350m2.

Housing density type C

Type C: Rural residential housing: stand-alone dwelling and associated structures. Large stand-alone dwelling and associated structures, such as garages, sheds and barns, on large rural-residential sized sections ranging from 3000m2 to 2 ha.

There are other housing types which could be considered in an urban environment (town centre):

Apartment and flats

Dwellings where floors form a common boundary between units; this includes multi-storey units. More common in cities.

Terrace houses

Dwellings with common boundary walls, where all floors within a vertical element are in the same unit. They have less external front or rear access, often requiring rear service lanes. This housing type requires modulated façades to avoid monotonous ‘street-walls’.

Town houses

One side of the dwelling is on the boundary. The benefit of this type is that the traditional house form can be retained, while density is increased. Sites can be narrower but with good outdoor living space.

What do you think?

  • Do you support a mix of housing types in your town?
  • What types of housing do you see in your town in the future?
  • Do you support higher density types of housing in the town centre?
  • What type of housing is currently missing in your town centre?

Graphic showing houses closer together in medium/residential and further apart in rural