$100m boost to develop Auckland housing
Housing development on surplus Crown land in Auckland is receiving a $100 million boost in Budget 2016, Building and Housing Minister Dr Nick Smith says.
“This capital funding will add momentum to the programme of using public land for increasing the supply of housing. The programme’s goal is to increase the pace of housing development and to put a greater focus on bringing more affordable housing to the market.
“This approach was first used in Christchurch, where five blocks of land were bought for $13.9 million – a purchase which will deliver 420 homes. The programme was extended to Auckland in Budget 2015, with contingency funding of $52.2 million. This has so far resulted in agreements for 20 parcels of land.
“We are successfully building this new pipeline of housing supply in Auckland. It involves identifying surplus public land, assessing its suitability for housing, negotiating and settling the purchase, the land being acquired for development either by iwi or a developer, and agreements being secured.
“The Government recognises that the Auckland housing situation is one of the biggest challenges the city faces and will soon be releasing its National Policy Statement on Urban Development, which will direct councils to adjust their plans to allow for more development if necessary.
“In Auckland, which is still functioning on 1993 planning documents implemented when there were half a million fewer people living there, that will mean going up and out,” Dr Smith says.
Auckland housing supply has been a huge focus and achievements include:
- Building 9,500 houses a year, up from 4,000 in 2012 – a build rate which has more than doubled since the Government introduced Special Housing Areas.
- Residential building consents totalling $4.1 billion for the year ended 31 March 2016, up from $2 billion before the Housing Accord.
- 154 Special Housing Areas – an agreement between the Council and the Government, which allows for fast-tracking developments – with the potential for more than 56,000 homes.
- 80,000 people employed in construction in Auckland, up from 51,000 pre accord.
- About 1,500 HomeStart grants approved for first-home buyers.
“Addressing the Auckland housing problem is taking time but I am confident that, just as in Christchurch, initiatives such as the surplus Crown land programme will play a role in resolving our biggest city’s housing supply and affordability issues,” Dr Smith says.