Housing plan a 'non-event' - Opposition
Mon, 29 Oct 2012 10:30p.m.
By Sacha McNeil
The Government has moved to ease housing pressure and make homes more affordable, especially in Auckland where getting it right could hugely affect the future of the city.
It has announced changes to the Resource Management Act and urged the Auckland Council to release more land so more houses can be built.
But the Opposition are calling it a non-event , saying that it won't help to keep up with demand.
In as little as 30 years' time Auckland City will need another 400,000 new homes, however the Government doesn’t want to rattle the housing as collapsing house prices in the city would leave hundreds of thousands of Aucklanders with negative equity.
So the Government has chosen a cautious approach, which includes asking Auckland Council to release more land for housing developments and reducing the cost and delays under the Resource Management Act - including a six-month time limit on medium sized consents.
The big issue for the Government is a shortfall of houses in Auckland. The city needs 13,000 new houses every year while in in the past two years there were less than 7,000 built. And while demand is not being kept up with house prices continue to soar.
But it's not just a lack of land or a slow consent process that's holding development up.
“It's the economy at the moment, this isn’t a time for developers in the way they did in the '80s and the '90s to be throwing large amounts of money at big developments,” says deputy mayor Penny Hulse.
However planning lawyer Paul Cavanagh says building more intensive housing centrally can be expensive, so the council needs to free up cheaper land.
“[It's] a different method of construction, it's much more expensive, so the units that are provided are much smaller and less attractive,” says Mr Cavanagh.
Meanwhile Auckland's left with needing three times the number of houses being built right now.
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30/10/2012 9:15:51 a.m.
More affordable for developers and property investors perhaps, but it wont be for first time home buyers. It needs to go further then just opening up more land and speeding up building consent. The government needs to come up with some more creative ideas, and more affordable package for first time home buyers.
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