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Building and Construction Minister Dr Nick Smith and Rotorua Mayor Steve Chadwick have today signed a Housing Accord aimed at substantially boosting Rotorua’s housing supply over the next four years.

“Rotorua’s local economy is doing well and the population is growing at a faster rate than in decades but this is putting pressure on housing prices and availability. This Housing Accord will get the Council and the Government working together to free up more land, grow supply and co-ordinate support for people in housing need,” Dr Smith says.

“We’ve agreed a target of 900 dwellings and 1050 sections over the next four years, which will average out to 225 dwellings being consented each year. During the past four years an average of 94 dwellings have been consented each year, so the target is ambitious yet achievable.

“Housing Accords have proved successful in increasing supply in places like Queenstown, Auckland, Nelson and Tauranga. House building activity has grown by 93 per cent, 78 per cent, 55 per cent and 86 per cent respectively in each of these areas since Housing Accords were entered into. They have sped up consenting for new housing developments, support new social housing initiatives, assist councils with infrastructure costs and facilitate joint Council-Government housing developments.

“This Rotorua Accord has been tailored to reflect the unique housing opportunities for the city and supports the Rotorua Lakes Council’s desire to work with iwi to explore options for the development of papakāinga housing.”

Dr Smith says Rotorua MP Todd McClay first raised the possibility of an Accord in June and the proposal was endorsed by Mayor Steve Chadwick.

“This Accord is a game-changer and a real win for Rotorua. I am very pleased the opportunity has been seized upon so quickly,” Mr McClay says.

“These properties will make a big impact locally and provide a welcome release of pressure for the housing market.

“Rotorua’s population is growing, our local economy is booming and unemployment is falling. Now the Council has the tools it needs to ensure that housing supply keeps up with demand,” Mr McClay says.

“I thank and commend the Rotorua Mayor and Council, as well as officials from the Ministry of Business, Innovation and Employment who have worked hard to conclude this Accord so quickly. We need to maintain this momentum in now identifying Special Housing Areas and complementary initiatives to deliver these 900 homes,” Dr Smith concluded.

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