News | 15 December 2016

More affordable and social housing on the way for Wellington

Changes are on the way for housing in Wellington, with rates rebates for first-home builders and an expansion of Wellington City Council’s social housing.

At today’s first meeting of the Mayor’s Taskforce on Housing, chaired by Deputy Mayor Paul Eagle, the Council’s Housing Portfolio Leader, experts from around the country identified affordable, social and emergency housing as areas in need of immediate action.

Mayor Justin Lester says the Council will act swiftly to get new homes built.

“The advice from our taskforce today is that in the face of skyrocketing house prices, there is an immediate need for local government to step up and start taking action,” he says.

“I will be asking my councillors early in the New Year to approve policy changes to help us tackle these problems. These will include a $5000 rates rebate for building first homes, a new model to help deliver affordable housing, and expanding our stock of social housing.

“If we want to avoid a situation like Auckland, we need to take action.”

Councillor Eagle says the taskforce’s first meeting was significant. “It’s the first time we’ve had representatives from across the housing continuum at the same table prioritising housing issues for Wellington,” he says.

Key issues identified included a long-term housing plan tailored for Wellington, better data to improve decision-making, working with central government, learning from other successful housing initiatives and continuing to overhaul Council processes to make it easier to build more homes.

“Building more homes remains our number one priority,” says Cr Eagle. “That means focusing on developing masterplans for our neighbourhoods, getting the housing mix right with developers and creating a pipeline for long-term housing construction.”

The Housing Taskforce will meet again in the New Year with a forum planned with wider representation from the housing sector. Final recommendations will be presented in April to align with the Council’s annual plan deliberations.

Mayor’s Housing Taskforce – representatives

 Maurice Clark  McKee Fehl Constructors
 Jo Taite
 Ngati Kahungunu Whanau Services
 Morrie Love
 Wellington Tenths Trust
 Stephanie McIntyre
 Downtown Community Ministry
 Philippa Howden- Chapman
 University of Otago, Wellington
 Peter Dow
 Housing New Zealand Board
 Chris Aiken or Katja Lietz
 Hobsonville Land Company
 Scott Figenshow
 Community Housing Aotearoa
 Ian Cassels
 The Wellington Company
 Warwick Quinn
 Building and Construction Industry Training Organisation
 Leonie Freeman
 Housing strategist
 Linda Meade
 Partner, Deloitte Corporate Finance