Housing supply in the Nelson-Tasman region has received a major boost with the establishment of 20 new Special Housing Areas (SHAs) with capacity for 1700 homes, Building and Construction Minister Dr Nick Smith announced today.
“The regional economy is booming and attracting new investment, jobs and population growth. This growth is welcomed but is putting pressure on housing supply and costs for both renters and home buyers. Opening up these 20 areas for housing and adding 1700 homes to supply is the key to improving affordability,” Dr Smith says.
The Tasman-Nelson SHAs were established as part of the renewed Housing Accords between the Government and the Tasman and Nelson councils in May and June of this year. The Tasman Accord set targets of 800 sections and 1100 homes over the next three years, while Nelson’s has targets of 450 sections and 900 homes over the same time.
The SHAs were approved by Cabinet on Monday and in Nelson are: Bayview Road, Atawhai, 125; Crown Terrace, Britannia Heights, 80; Cherry Avenue, Enner Glynn, 5; Wastney Terrace, Marybank, 20; Quiet Woman Way, Monaco, 6; Upper Trafalgar, Nelson South, 5; Van Diemen Street, Nelson South, 3; Nayland Road, Stoke, 6; Cadiz Court, The Wood, 18; Parklands, Toi Toi, 14; Taylor Estate, Wakapuaka, 80; Highview Drive, Wakatu, 45. In Tasman they are: Sandy Bay-Marahau Road, Marahau, 45-66; Richmond Road, Pohara, 70; Angelus Avenue, Richmond, 30-42; Highland Drive, Richmond, 32; Hill Street, Richmond, 16-23; ApplebyField, Richmond West, 250; The Meadows, Richmond West, 800; Whitby Road, Wakefield, 40.
“I appreciate there is some controversy and concern from adjacent residents about some of these SHAs. I have consistently adopted a policy in approving over 200 SHAs across New Zealand that this is primarily a consideration for Councils in making the recommendation, and that does not change in my home area. We need to carefully weigh up the relative rights of people who would prefer their adjacent area is not developed into housing with the rights of many more people to have access to housing at an affordable price.
“I know from my experience in Christchurch, where the Government opened up large tracts of land for housing, that it has a marked impact on house prices. The median house price in Christchurch is $430,000, with a decrease of 2 per cent in the past year. In Nelson/Tasman the median is $501,500, and increased 11 per cent in the past year. Opening up these additional areas of land for housing will generate genuine competition in the section market and help stabilise prices.
“One of the Richmond SHAs, The Meadows, has a potential yield of 800 homes including a retirement village with 220 villas and a care facility. The adjacent ApplebyFields SHA could yield 250 homes. These are exciting developments which are the start of a large community close to the centre of Richmond, with employment and recreational facilities nearby. I am also in discussions with the Ministry of Education on options for building a new school in this new Richmond West community.
“This opening up of the Richmond West community is particularly welcome news for first home buyers and young families. The flat land makes it much less expensive to develop. Many Nelson families are eligible for KiwiSaver HomeStart grants of up to $20,000 but cannot currently find suitable properties to buy.
“The economic implications of these developments are huge and amount to building a new town the size of Westport. Building activity across the region is already at an all-time high. These housing developments will involve total building and infrastructure work totalling over $800 million and will provide hundreds of Nelsonians with jobs.”