Re­port aims to ad­dress Auck­land hous­ing cri­sis

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Auck­land will keep build­ing fewer houses than are needed, hurt­ing the coun­try’s econ­omy and caus­ing so­cial pres­sures, un­less the build­ing in­dus­try can be given greater cer­tainty, Auck­land mayor Phil Goff says.

A hous­ing task force, which met in Fe­bru­ary to dis­cuss the city’s se­ri­ous hous­ing short­age, re­leased its re­port on Mon­day.

Goff had asked the re­port to iden­tify bar­ri­ers to build­ing more homes in Auck­land and make rec­om­men­da­tions to over­come those bar­ri­ers.

In Fe­bru­ary, he said the city needed about 13,000 new houses each year but was con­sent­ing 10,000 and build­ing just 7000.

De­vel­op­ers, builders, bankers, econ­o­mists, ar­chi­tects and gov­ern­ment of­fi­cials had con­trib­uted to the task force.

The re­port’s three key rec­om­men­da­tions, re­leased on Mon­day, were en­sur­ing de­vel­op­ment at a scale which in­cluded build­ing through dips, un­lock­ing land with ap­pro­pri­ate zon­ing and in­fra­struc­ture, and ef­fi­ciency and in­no­va­tion in con­sent­ing and risk man­age­ment.

Goff said cen­tral and lo­cal gov­ern­ment, as well as the con­struc­tion in­dus­try, should now con­sider the rec­om­men­da­tions.

‘‘Un­less we ad­dress th­ese prob­lems, hous­ing short­age and un­af­ford­abil­ity in Auck­land will not only con­tinue to cause se­ri­ous so­cial pres­sures, but will also hold back Auck­land’s and New Zealand’s eco­nomic growth.’’

Greater con­ti­nu­ity and cer­tainty was needed for build­ing work, which would in turn al­low the in­dus­try to scale up, the re­port said.

Pol­icy was needed to help con­struc­tion through eco­nomic dips, Goff said.

A short­age of fund­ing for in­vest­ment in the in­fra­struc­ture needed for de­vel­op­ments was also seen as a constraint.

Ma­jor in­fra­struc­ture for 138,000 homes in new green­field ar­eas would cost $19 bil­lion over the next 30 years, the re­port said.

‘‘The Auck­land Uni­tary Plan has freed up land by zon­ing it for de­vel­op­ment.

‘‘How­ever, for de­vel­op­ment to take place road­ing, wa­ter and com­mu­nity fa­cil­i­ties need to be pro­vided in or­der for the build to oc­cur.’’

The Gov­ern­ment’s Hous­ing In­fra­struc­ture Fund must play a role, Goff said, but the re­port sug­gested other rev­enue sources, such as road pric­ing or re­gional fuel taxes, were needed.

SI­MON MAUDE/FAIR­FAX NZ

The city needs about 13,000 new houses each year but is con­sent­ing 10,000 and build­ing just 7000.

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