Mayoral Housing Taskforce reports on progress

Oct 25, 2018 | News

“The Mayoral Housing Taskforce for the first time brought all the sectors involved in housing together – private sector, local and central government – and its report received bipartisan support last year.

“Its goal was to increase the scale and pace of housing construction to bring housing supply into balance with demand,” Mayor Phil Goff said.

“There are positive signs that this is starting to happen. In the year to August 2018, 12,959 dwellings were consented in the region, the highest level of building consents on record.

“In the same year, 10,138 dwellings had a Code of Compliance Certificate issues, indicating dwellings that had been completed. Around 83 per cent of consents were for dwellings within the urban limit, showing some constraint on urban sprawl and making better use of existing infrastructure.

“There was at the same time some easing of record demand with international net migration to Auckland 13 per cent down on the previous year.

“House prices, which a couple of years ago were increasing by up to 15 per cent a year, have levelled off with median residential sales prices increasing by less than 1 per cent in the last year.

“The Council’s Unitary Plan has played a constructive role in making more land available for building and allowing better land use with more intensive housing within the City’s boundaries.

“By increasing supply, this has helped constrain land costs and brownfields development has helped limit the high costs of providing new infrastructure.

“Taskforce partners have commented favourably on Council’s resource consent process for qualified partners and straight forward work.

“Council is also piloting innovative approaches to consenting such as in Redhills where Council is working with Universal Housing to consent infrastructure and house building at the same time. According to Universal this has brought forward the delivery of new homes by ten months,” said Mayor Goff.

“We have made significant progress on raising capital for infrastructure through the Housing Infrastructure Fund (HIF) and will soon be able to deliver new infrastructure funding through Crown Infrastructure Partners (CIP). Using CIP will enable the construction of infrastructure without breaking council’s debt to revenue ratio, and enable the delivery of tens of thousands of new homes more quickly.

“Work with government on Kiwibuild and delivering infrastructure funding through the HIF and CIP to facilitate the development of tens of thousands of new houses, has helped assure the building industry of a pipeline of construction.

“We are working collaboratively with government on the development of affordable housing under Kiwibuild and delivering more social housing. Our development arm Panuku is also working to help the development of housing on council-owned land.

“Our work with HLC (previously Hobsonville Land Company) and Housing New Zealand on housing regeneration areas is delivering thousands of new homes in Mt Roskill and Mangere.

“We are supporting more young Aucklanders into construction and trades. 525 young people have been enabled into employment through the Tindall Foundation and Council’s Youth Connections programme, the CBD Jobs and Skills Hub with the Ministry of Business Innovation and Employment and the final phase of the #BuildAKL Campaign.

“In the first 18 months of the Housing First programme the providers have housed more than 700 adults and families in secure, affordable and healthy homes. This fantastic work means more than 700 have a roof over their heads and somewhere to call home rather than in a doorway or in a car.

“We have advocated strongly to the government on changes to the building code and building act including allowing for a wider range of pre-fabricated components in the Building Code and shared liability across a number of parties when developments fail, rather than Council be the last man standing. The Government is due to report back to us on this in the near future.

“Advice from the Housing Taskforce has been valuable. This is the first time government, council and industry have sat in the same room and worked together to tackle and overcome the challenges we face in the housing sector.

“The next meeting of the taskforce will examine what the next steps are for this group. This may include looking at how inclusionary zoning can be used to encourage more affordable housing pepper potted around Auckland,” says Mayor Phil Goff.

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