Queenstown is well on its way to hitting the target laid out in the Queenstown-Lakes Housing Accord, with six months of the original accord still to run, Building and Construction Minister Dr Nick Smith and Queenstown-Lakes Mayor Jim Boult announced today.

“We are confident we will meet the ambitious target of 1750 new residential sections and homes in the three years to October 2017. The monitoring reports released today show 1634 consents have been issued to date and, with six months to go, the target is likely to be exceeded.

“Residential building activity has more than doubled since the Accord was signed in 2014, with the latest figures showing $512 million in investment in the year to March 2017 compared with $256 million in 2014. This growth is not confined to the residential sector, with total construction growing from $285m to $683m over the same period.”

The Queenstown-Lakes Housing Accord increases the supply of housing in the district by speeding up the consenting process for developments and freeing up new areas of land for housing. The Council is required to monitor the number of sections and buildings consented against targets agreed between the Minister and the Mayor.

“We know from the experience in Christchurch that freeing up additional land is the single most important step Government and councils can take towards increasing housing supply and affordability. We have made progress, with seven Special Housing Areas with capacity for 950 additional homes being approved in Queenstown. We need to do more given the strong tourism sector and ongoing population growth in the district,” Dr Smith said after meeting Mr Boult today.

“We are planning to extend the scope of the Accord to support improved housing supply across the wider Queenstown-Lakes District, including Wanaka, and are working on new targets for the next three years to support growth. Our discussions today also included how the Government can support the Council’s infrastructure and opportunities for using surplus Crown land to support growth in housing.”

Mr Boult says the demand for housing across the district is stronger than ever, and he is supportive of any measures that can help local families get into their own homes.

“The cost of housing is a serious issue in our district and something this Council is working hard to address, both through the Special Housing Accord and the Mayoral Housing Taskforce. An extension of this legislation will lead more affordable housing stock being available for those who need it and, as such, I will recommend that our Council supports the Government initiative.”

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