Plan will cre­ate 1000 QT homes

Central Otago Mirror - - YOUR LOCAL NEWS - DEB­BIE JAMIESON

An in­no­va­tive, new form of home own­er­ship and re­stric­tions on Airbnb are among pro­pos­als to re­solve Queenstown’s af­ford­able hous­ing woes.

A may­oral task­force is rec­om­mend­ing the Queenstown Lakes District be­comes the first in New Zealand to adopt a Whistler­based style of af­ford­able hous­ing known as Se­cure Homes.

Task­force chair­man John Mac­Don­ald said the model would see the land and house value split, with the land be­ing rented to the home owner. The land would stay in com­mu­nity own­er­ship in per­pe­tu­ity and the value of the house would be capped at a CPI rate.

‘‘If peo­ple want to move out or trade to an­other house in the mar­ket then that gets of­fered back to ap­proved buy­ers.’’

The model would not af­fect val­ues in the mar­ket and would of­fer sta­bil­ity to the house­holder. How­ever, it did mean they would not re­ceive the cap­i­tal gains many New Zealan­ders an­tic­i­pated from their home own­er­ship in­vest­ment.

Queenstown Lakes Com­mu­nity Hous­ing Trust ex­ec­u­tive of­fi­cer Julie Scott said she did not think it would turn peo­ple off the scheme.

‘‘Now we’ve got 480 house­holds on our wait­ing list. They are des­per­ate for some sort of af­ford­able, se­cure hous­ing. The op­tions at the mo­ment are ei­ther rent and pay their $750 a week or buy into an en­try level priced house of $800,000.

‘‘Most of them . . . are stuck rent­ing at th­ese high prices.’’

Mayor Jim Boult said he es­tab­lished the Hous­ing Af­ford­abil­ity Task­force ear­lier this year to find so­lu­tions to what he be­lieved was prob­a­bly the largest is­sue fac­ing the district.

‘‘Em­ploy­ers keep telling me how dif­fi­cult it is to em­ploy good peo­ple sim­ply be­cause . . . of the cost of hous­ing.’’

A key goal was to have 1000 homes in the new model in 10 years. About 60 per cent would be Se­cure Homes and 40 per cent would be af­ford­able rental of­fer­ings owned in per­pe­tu­ity by the trust.

The task­force is also rec­om­mend­ing that the Queenstown Lakes District Coun­cil ad­just its vis­i­tor ac­com­mo­da­tion set­tings. It says Airbnb alone is mak­ing up about 14 per cent of to­tal vis­i­tor ac­com­mo­da­tion ca­pac­ity and the coun­cil should con­sider ways to in­cen­tivise peo­ple to rent long-term to the lo­cal work­force in­stead.

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