Tag: Affordable housing

RMA Reforms to Get Under-way – In Earnest

Reforms to tackle housing affordability?

 

From the Minister for the Environment – Dr Nick Smith

Reform of RMA critical to reforming housing affordability

The Resource Management Act needs to explicitly recognise the importance of New Zealanders’ access to more affordable housing if the downward trend in home ownership over the past 20 years is to be reversed, Building and Housing, and Environment Minister Dr Nick Smith said today at the Property Council New Zealand’s Residential Development Summit in Auckland.

“The Resource Management Act must safeguard our natural environment but it is also a crucial piece of planning legislation. It forms the basis for the decisions that determine what we can do on our land. So it’s important we have a system that balances environmental protection with the wider needs of New Zealanders. We need a system which ensures that important environmental standards are maintained, but that which also enables growth and development – including a strong housing supply,” Dr Smith says.

“It is the price of land and sections that has gone up so rapidly in unaffordable housing markets like Auckland, and it is the Resource Management Act and how it is implemented that is largely responsible for this cost escalation. The new law allowing Special Housing Areas is a short-term fix but we must address the fundamental problem with the Resource Management Act if we are serious about long-term housing affordability.

“The vast bulk of consent processes under the Resource Management Act are about urban development, yet they barely rate a mention in the purposes and principles of the Act. This is why the Government is determined to make changes. We need to get everybody working in the resource management area from a policy, planning and consent perspective to understand how their decisions impact on young Kiwi families who aspire to own their own home.

“I welcome the challenge working as Building and Housing, and Environment Minister. No one Minister has previously been responsible for the full regulatory framework affecting housing, from subdivisions, building consenting to occupational regulation. This presents the opportunity to streamline how we develop new housing so as to increase housing supply and affordability.”

….

Source: http://beehive.govt.nz/release/reform-rma-critical-reforming-housing-affordability#.VD2xNLdkiz0.twitter

 

It will be interesting to see what comes about when the draft reforms list is finally released – most likely by Christmas if the Government is going full speed on this.

Still I wonder if we would have been better served if we had a Planning Minister: Queensland Gets It Right, Auckland Continues to Dither and Get it Wrong

Also the old issue of property rights is bound to crop as well: Property Rights and the Unitary Plan

 

So lets see what the reforms do truly give us….

 

First Special Housing Accord Development Under Way

Large Scale Social Housing Project under way in Weymouth

 

I noticed from respected property writer Bob Dey that Auckland Council and the Central Government signed off the first Special Housing Area under the operative Housing Accord. Remembering the Housing Accord could only become operational if the Unitary Plan was notified – which it was.

An excerpt from Bob’s post on the Weymouth Special Housing Area

Tamaki Collective’s Weymouth housing development launched

on Friday 4 October 2013 
Housing Minister Nick Smith and Auckland mayor Len Brown announced New Zealand’s largest community housing development yesterday – the Tamaki Collective’s $102 million development of 282 social & affordable homes on surplus Government land at Weymouth.

Dr Smith said it involved both the Government’s social & affordable housing reforms, helping 113 families into their first home and expanding the provision of community & social housing by 169 units.

“This Weymouth development, which will house 1250 people, will also be the first special housing area under new legislation & the Auckland accord. This will enable the 16ha subdivision of vacant Government land to be fast-tracked, with the first homes ready for occupation by the middle of next year and the entire development completed by 2017.”

You can read the rest over at Bob’s site.

 

This is where the Special Housing Area development will be:

Weymouth SHA area

 

There is also a second but unrelated (I believe this one is overseen by Housing NZ) Social Housing project under way on Walters Road, Papakura North – next to Papakura Normal School as well.

 

We will have to wait and see if these Social Housing projects do assist with both housing affordability and allowing people into their own homes. What will be just as interesting is to see how these developments hold up in 10 years time.

 

Now where is the next Special Housing Area going to be located.