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Council does not support affordable housing bill

Auckland City Council
Media release

29 February 2008

Council does not support affordable housing bill

Auckland City Council last night approved a submission to the Local Government and Environment Select Committee not supporting the Affordable Housing: Enabling Territorial Authorities Bill.

“This is a fundamentally flawed bill that would do little or nothing to address the issue of affordable housing. In fact, in all likelihood it would make things worse,” says Councillor Paul Goldsmith, chairperson of the Community Services Committee.

“This is a classic example of the government finally thinking it needs to do something about a real issue but studiously avoiding the primary cause of the problem,” he says.

The council sees the provision of affordable housing as primarily a central government responsibility.

The proposed bill does not provide any government funding or support to local authorities and instead transfers the responsibility for delivering affordable housing.

Mr Goldsmith says that all successful international examples of affordable housing have a strong national policy and funding base.

“There are many reasons for decreasing affordability, including increasing government regulation. This bill is a narrow and inefficient tool in dealing with the issue,” he says.

The submission outlines the council’s belief that the bill introduces complex and costly processes in developing, implementing and defending affordable housing policies.

“The bill is intended to enable territorial authorities who may wish to address affordable housing. In contrast, we believe it will act as a disincentive to councils.

“Although the bill is voluntary, there is a significant risk that councils would be caught by its provisions by undertaking any initiatives that they can currently do, such as partnerships with third parties,” says Mr Goldsmith.


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