Queenstown Lakes Housing Accord signed

Published: Thu 23 Oct 2014 02:58 PM
Queenstown Lakes Housing Accord signed
A Queenstown Lakes Housing Accord has been signed between Housing Minister Dr Nick Smith and Mayor Vanessa van Uden to provide an additional 1300 homes over the next three years.
“The Queenstown Lakes District is one of the five least affordable housing areas in New Zealand, with a median house price of $664,000. The Accord agreed today aims to deliver a 20 per cent increase on the number of houses that have been built in the area in the past, and accordingly it will improve both supply and affordability in the region,” Dr Smith says.
The Accord, ratified by the Queenstown Lakes District Council at the end of August, sets a target of 350 new sections and dwellings consented in its first year, 450 in its second, and 500 in its third.
The next step will be for the Council to identify areas to recommend to the Government to be designated as Special Housing Areas. Qualifying developments in these areas can be streamlined and fast-tracked, with some low-rise residential developments expected to be consented within 60 days.
“Queenstown has some unique characteristics to its housing challenge. The district has a high number of homes owned for holiday purposes, and there is high housing demand from people who work in the tourism and hospitality industries and who also tend to be on lower incomes,” Dr Smith says.
“The flexibility of the Government’s Housing Accords legislation has allowed for a targeted approach to meet the needs of the Queenstown community.”
Mayor Vanessa van Uden said she welcomed the partnership approach of the Housing Accord.
“We’re in this together to address the housing affordability issues in our community, one step at a time,” Ms van Uden says.
Mayor van Uden also said it was critical that the new dwellings were “high performing houses” that were well insulated and used sustainable forms of heating.
The Accord signed in Queenstown today is the sixth concluded by the Government in the past 12 months, behind Auckland, Christchurch, Wellington, Tauranga and the Western Bay of Plenty.
“The Queenstown Lakes Housing Accord continues the good progress the Government is making on addressing New Zealand’s housing challenge. We are reducing building materials costs, reining in development contribution contributions, cutting compliance costs and investing in skills and productivity in the construction sector,” Dr Smith says.
“We are also planning reforms to the Resource Management Act to recognise the importance of New Zealanders’ access to more affordable housing.
“I commend the Mayor and Council on the work that has gone in to the Accord. The steps taken today are essential if we are to make progress on increasing housing supply and to ease pressure in the Queenstown-Lakes housing market,” Dr Smith concluded.

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