Can Auckland ever deliver affordable housing?

Published: Tue 6 Oct 2015 12:22 PM
Can Auckland ever deliver affordable housing?
Property Council’s Residential Development Summit will explore housing unaffordability in Auckland by looking at its key causes.
Presenters will discuss issues such as shortage of land supply, increasing demand from population growth and onerous central and local government regulations.
Sue Simons, partner at BerrySimons who will speak at the Summit, says that inconsistent and often impractical regulations are an unnecessary burden for the property development industry in Auckland.
“We need robust legislative reform of the Resource Management Act, the Local Government Act and the Land Transport Management Act in order to alleviate burdensome regulations and meet growth-fuelled future housing and infrastructure challenges.
“Auckland is currently experiencing unabated housing shortages and escalating house prices in a city where infrastructure development has been neglected for decades. We need a dynamic legislative and regulatory environment in order to meet these mounting challenges.
“The property development industry also needs greater certainty surrounding Auckland Council’s Proposed Auckland Unitary Plan and land supply strategies as well as the future of the Special Housing Areas legislation. As an industry, we need the confidence and certainty from central and local government.”
The Summit comes hot off the heels of the Housing supply, choice and affordability report by Auckland Council chief economist Chris Parker.
Property Council strongly supports the report’s call for:
1. Exploring greater use of targeted rates to fund and finance infrastructure growth.
2. A collaborative review transport policy, legislation, planning to ensure it supports Auckland’s housing surge.
3. Abolishing excessive restrictions on urban design unless benefits exceed costs.
4. Creating an advocacy plan to consider replacing joint and several liability with proportionate liability.
Property Council chief executive Connal Townsend says the Summit will be the most topical one yet, as Auckland’s housing issue heats up within public debate.
“There are so many different critical questions that arise in the process of resolving our housing problem. How do we fund infrastructure? How do we address zoning restrictions that deter development? How do we better align transport infrastructure planning with land planning? How do we ensure infrastructure complements residential development and not vice versa?
“We need integrated local and national policies that account for all of these issues, to really make a difference when addressing the shortage that has seen our house prices sky rocket year after year.”
The Residential Development Summit is open to the media with prior registration.

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