The timing could not be more ironic that after the election of Goff and a Governing Body that is 14-7 towards the progressive side – okay 13-8 given resident NIMBY Mike Lee would Finance Minister Bill English announced an extended housing building program.
From the NZ Herald:
English signals Govt is set to accelerate home building programme in Auckland5:58 AM Monday Oct 10, 2016
Finance Minister Bill English is signalling a ramp-up of Government intervention in Auckland’s private sector housing market.
“The Government will be a provider for the next 10 years of significant numbers of medium-density, medium-priced housing into the Auckland market,” he told the Herald in an interview.
“Over the next six months, you’ll also see a growing understanding of the size of the Government building programme and that will have an effect on the market.
He said Auckland’s new Unitary Plan allowed Housing New Zealand to increase the number of houses it could have on its land from up to 30,000 previously to 69,000 under the new plan.
“And we are going to do it.”
That would include the renewal of social housing stock where that was required “but it will generate an extra 30,000 houses.”
Labour’s Phil Twyford welcomed greater Government intervention but said it is typical of National when it came to housing policy.
“It’s a day late and a dollar short.”
For the past five years, it had been pouring scorn on the idea of a Government-backed building programme, “conjuring up the idea of great Soviet-style apartment blocks”.
“The abject failure of their policy to deliver any kind of significant increase in houses that people can actually live in has dragged them kicking and screaming towards the idea of more Government intervention in building.”
Twyford was also concerned that Housing New Zealand could sell off too much of its land to the private sector and leave it short in future to increase its own stock.
English’s comments suggest that within the next six months there will be a lot more developments of the kind announced last month for Northcote which will replace 300 existing homes with 1200.
English’s comment to the Herald follow a speech by Housing New Zealand chief executive Andrew McKenzie last month in Christchurch at which he hinted at a much bigger role for the corporation in increasing private sector supply, as well as renewal of its own rental stock.
“We have been asked to look at availability and supply,” Hive News reported him saying.
“There is role we have around improving and increasing the level of supply, and obviously affordability is a really important element to that.”
Full article and source: http://www.nzherald.co.nz/business/news/article.cfm?c_id=3&objectid=11725665
It has taken about eight years for the Government to realise the only way to build houses quickly is to get the State to do it themselves. Just like it has taken the Government eight years to finally put pen to paper and confirm the City Rail Link so that it is ready for operation by 2013 rather than 2018 if they did not mess around in 2010 when the new Super City was formed.
In any case though now that the Government is moving where do we put these houses. Sure Housing NZ has land across the City but any large-scale regeneration of existing stock or building of new stock needs to be:
- Near or in a Metropolitan Centre (Rata Vines and Wiri being within 1km of Manukau City Centre as an example)
- A transit line or station
- A committed future transit line (Airport Line could spur an integrated development like in the Otahuhu-Mangere area)
Otherwise we are building houses without access to jobs or quality transit links to get around the City.
I have been told the tenders for the extended housing building program announced by English have closed recently so it will be interesting where the new houses will be going and how soon.