Mayoral taskforce discussing comprehensive housing plan

10 April 2017

Wellington’s Housing Taskforce is investigating a comprehensive range of initiatives to help the Capital City avoid a housing crisis, Taskforce Chair and Deputy Mayor Paul Eagle says.

“Housing is the number one issue facing Wellington, and the Mayor has made this a key priority for our Council. Healthy, robust, and accessible housing is a cornerstone of our city’s resilience,” he says.

“Over the past few months we’ve pulled together a housing taskforce with some of the leading experts from around the country. We’ll be reporting final recommendations back to the Council in June, but a plan is beginning to take shape.”

The taskforce’s next meeting will be on 12 April and will discuss a comprehensive range of plans, projects and initiatives proposed by experts, focusing on ensuring Wellington remains an affordable and vibrant place to live for generations to come.

“The options for discussion at this meeting will be bold: we’ll be discussing the Council proactively building and providing more affordable homes ourselves, and the financial help we could provide to get people into affordable housing. We’ve already become the only council in the country to be directly building new affordable homes though our recent announcement of 750 new social and affordable homes over the next decade. But the experts are telling us we can do even more.

“We’ll be talking about the need to build up as well as out, ways we can promote greater density of housing in the central city and our suburbs, while also doing more to promote greenfield developments and open up new land for housing on the city fringes. We’ll be talking about better approaches to planning to make this happen.

“We’re also going to be discussing ways to improve the quality of Wellington’s rental housing stock, including financial incentives for landlords, and a Council-run website and rating system so that tenants can have access to the best possible information about how warm, safe and dry a home is.”

The taskforce is focused on addressing every aspect of the housing continuum from affordability in the private market through to better support for the city’s homeless.

“It’s the mark of a compassionate city how we treat those in need, and we’re looking at a range of plans that could help more people find safe and warm accommodation.

“I’m very excited by the work the taskforce is doing. I’m confident we’re going to be able to make a real difference. The next step from here will be for a Housing Forum next month to discuss our approach with housing stakeholders, followed by a final meeting of the Taskforce in June. From there, our report will be delivered to the Council and adapted into a plan for consideration by Councillors.”